Good love is on the way....
It was a day unlike any other. The spot-filled sun in the sky, a mellow yellow to her dismal gray. The grass, envy-green and wet beneath her feet. It almost made her pale green eyes burn with jealousy. Every candle-laden birthday cake she had ever had was dusted with the residue of the exact same wish; greener eyes. That's all she ever wished for, partly because she kind of thought the whole make-a-wish-and-blow-out-the-candles thing was an elaborate hoax designed to put the cake-eaters in closer than close proximity with the birthday persons' saliva; the other part of her just happened to think that greener than green eyes was as worthwhile a wish as any.
She stared out at the calm blue waters of the Gulf wondering how her life had gone so inexplicably wrong in such a short amount of time.
"You got a light?" A man materialized at her side, brandishing a pack of Marlboros.
"Only if I can bum a smoke." She replied, eyeing his unopened pack. He looked up at her for the first time giving her a not-so-subtle once over. She felt him take in the dark circles taking up shelter under her eyes, her ratty sweatpants and stained 'Your boyfriend likes me' T-shirt. She felt vaguely self-conscious before remembering that she had much bigger things to worry about.
He pulled a cigarette out and stretched his arm in offering. She reached over to take it, their hands almost meeting before he suddenly pulled back. He placed the cigarette between his lips with a slight smirk, then offered the pack to her. She rolled her eyes, but accepted the pack. She pulled out a cigarette, placed it in her mouth and started rooting around in her messenger bag for a light.
She felt him sit down next to her. He reached over and plucked the Marlboros off her lap. Her body involuntarily tensed when she felt his fingers brush her thighs. Images flooded her senses... A smoke-filled room.... Hot breath... Rough hands. She shook the images from her head and lit her cigarette before passing the light.
"I'm always losing my lights." He said, covering his mouth with his hand as he lit up.
"I'm always losing my smokes." She replied with a bemused grunt.
He looked her way and smiled, "Sounds like you and I would make a great couple.."
She gave a forced laugh, "Sounds like you
should give me back my lighter." She said with an outstretched hand.
He laughed out loud and reached across her body, stopping his face inches from hers. She sucked in the smoke from his last exhale, staring into his dark eyes. The smile never left his lean face as he dropped the lighter into the mouth of her bag. He pulled away and slouched over as he took a long drag from his cigarette. He seemed fascinated by the cracks in the pavement surrounding the grassy knoll where they sat, ignorant of the inviting waters in front of him. She lifted her eyes to the view, watching the jet skis and speedboats go by.
It was water season in Kuwait, the days were getting longer, but retaining the cool breeze, which had dominated the month of March. It was by all accounts a happy time in Kuwait. The weather, which dictates every aspect of Kuwaiti life, was generous this time of year. Consequently, the citizens of Kuwait did all they could to exploit that generosity, almost pushing the day to its limits, trying to coax every last second out.
"Do you have a name?" He asked, pulling her out of her thoughts.
"Do you need to know it?" She replied defensively.
"For the purposes of this conversation, no." He said with a smirk. "What's eating at you?"
"Why would you assume something is wrong with me?"
"Do you always answer a question with a question?"
"I could ask you that right back, now couldn't I?" She replied, smiling as she flicked the ash from her cigarette. He shook his head, still smiling.
"Its just unusual for someone to sit, by themself, by the water, looking positively dejected.. and for nothing to be wrong with them."
"Well, maybe I'm not so usual.." She said, turning her face away from him and bringing the cigarette to her lips.
"Somehow, I don't doubt that..."
"You could tell me though, you know?" He added, leaning into her personal space again. "I'm an exceptional listener."
"Are you some kind of psych student?" She asked, inadvertently pulling away. "I mean, are you like a psychologist in training or something, and one of your assignments is to stalk the ocean front looking for people who look 'positively dejected'", she inserted finger quotes, "and get them to open up so you can silently evaluate them and present their case in class?"
"Would it matter if I was? Maybe I have a problem too and the act of listening to you would be a way to force my brain to focus on something else for a few minutes.."
She laughed and shook her head. "My problems would take more than a few minutes.."
He shifted on the bench and put the pack of cigarettes between them.
"I got smokes, you have a lighter and it seems like we've got all the time in the world."
She looked over at him, exhaling a cloud of smoke his way. The smoke collided with his exhale, then mingled into one before drifting up and dispersing. She had the passing thought of whether he would ultimately bring her life back up close to its starting point, drag it down further or whether he would have absolutely no impact whatsoever. The thought passed, she dropped her cigarette and put it out with the sole of her black and white Puma's. She stretched out both hands simultaneously, one to the pack of cigarettes and one into her bag, then she started talking...
When you can play the sh*t out of a guitar, no one cares what you sound like...