Feeling pretty romantic all of a sudden. Late onset spring fever or something.
Riding home on the train last night, feeling frisky. Noticed this really cute guy standing right in front of me. I was sitting and struggling to finish the New Yorker's "Summer Fiction" issue. The Twenty Best Writers Under Forty. But they all write really depressing stories. It's always about divorce. Yawn. But I'm kinda glad that it was so boring because otherwise I wouldn't have noticed this cute boy. He wasn't my type. The boy on the train last night was blond. Or, he would be blond but he had a buzz cut. AND he had a goatee, or some kind of stubbly facial hair. I know, right? Really not my thing, I guess. But he was so cute! He had big blue eyes and if I had to describe him in one word I'd use one of my favorite words: fussy. But this version of 'fussy' you have to really lisp the "S" sound, hissing the tip of your tongue up against the backside of your front teeth. You know. Like extra fussy-looking. And by Fussy I mean that his jeans were rolled up and that he looked very clean. It wasn't like he had rolled up his jeans (tight, black) for fashion reasons, just cause they were too long. I wish I knew a better way to describe the distinction I'm making. The cuffs were perfectly folded. And the sleeves of his t-shirt were rolled up too. By exactly an inch. See? Fussy. He had a big backpack and grocery bags from bourgie Whole Foods. I imagined that they are full of organic seitan and that he is a vegan and going home to feed his cats.
He totally caught me staring at him. He was gorgeous. He looked vaguely familiar but maybe this is my imagination working overtime to make him seem familiar so I wouldn't be intimidated and possibly talk to him. As a rule, I don't approach strangers, but I was staring at my magazine (not reading) and thinking, consciously: Okay, Billy. Today's the day. Ask this dude for his number. What's the worst that could happen? I think he knew I was thinking about him cause he looked at me a couple of times. He had a beauty mark on his cheek, just like Jason Schwartzman. I remembered that I just wrote this story for Birdsong where I talk about a boy having a beauty mark on his face, and how with the other guy, in the story, I said the beauty mark was big and brown and right where I'd put my thumb when I grabbed the guy's face to kiss him.
But the boy last night's beauty mark was different. It was not dark, it was very light brown on his face. Really subtle, and right near his stubble. It didn't look like somewhere where I'd put my hand if I was gonna grab this boy's face to kiss him. I don't think I'd try to grab this boy's face, I think he'd be too Fussy. His pale light beauty mark looked instead like a tiny target and I wanted to kiss him, on his stubbly cheek, right there. You know what it looked like? It looked like if a kid in the 1970s ran outside to get an iced cream cone, one of those chalky pale chocolate soft serve cones, and the kid brought it inside, and it dripped a single pale brown drop onto the kid's family's 1970s beige brown shag carpeting. His beauty mark looked like a tiny secret record of something you really want, and something you get.
Staring up at this guy I was getting ready to get off the train and could tell from his shuffling that he was too. He was standing near the door of the train, where the a/c vents are, and I saw his tiny, tiny little nipples were erect against the soft cotton of his mustard-yellow t-shirt. I wonder if he saw me checking them out. I bet it was from the air conditioning on the train but I thought in my mind for a second that possibly he was getting excited from the sexy thoughts I was telepathically sending him. I'm not really much of a 'nipple guy', but I liked his because they were so tiny and pert, so unlike my own. I have relatively larger nipples, with tiny curly dark hairs around them. (Hairy nipples is just one of the many things I have in common with the hit pop singer Fergie). So we approached our stop and I stood up next to him. I'm a few inches taller than him, not much. We'd be evenly matched, I mean. Body-wise. If we were laying in bed together we'd line up pretty perfectly. I feel confident in this estimation. I was feeling really excited and anxious and nervous. We left the train and kind of got separated in the crowd, when immediately I ran into my old friend Rios. The boy from the train walked up the stairs near us as Rios and I kissed each other on the cheek and caught up, briefly. I poured all my psychosexual energy that I had been building up for the Fussy Boy in the Yellow Shirt, right onto Rios. Since I know him. I wonder if Rios thought that was weird or not. Maybe. We walked for a block, behind Fussy. Fussy turned around, at one point. And I hope he saw that Rios and I were just old friends, catching up. I hope he saw that even though I was talking to Rios about his summer, that I had my eyes up ahead, staring at Fussy. I hope he saw that I saw him.
Rios photographed by the wonderful Walt Cessna.