Tonight, I will go to my friend's house with a large bottle of wine. She will ask me how I am, and I will say "fine," and suggest that she open the bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz I'm carrying. She'll tell her boyfriend to come and join us at the table. The three of us will sit and snack on the appetizers she has prepared. I'll sip from the glass she has given me, the buttery red wine slipping past my lips, warming me from the inside, and pretend that I'm not thinking of you.
When they ask me what I've been up to, I'll tell them "Nothing. Same ol', same ol'. Moving in. Working. You know." And they'll smile and nod, as though I've just told them something of any value. They'll ask me if I have any good gossip, and I'll say "No," thinking of what you told me last night; Surely that would qualify as gossip. But I'll keep my mouth shut, wanting to keep our exchange between just the two of us. I don't want to explain you to them. I know they wouldn't understand. They'll tell me that I'm crazy. That I should keep my distance. That I shouldn't even be talking to you. But they don't know that we can't help it. They wouldn't understand that we're bonded in a way that's beautiful, unexplainable and horrific.
We'll talk about Desperate Housewives and the Super Bowl and what they did with their Saturday night. I'll get tipsy from fermented Australian grapes, thinking of what's going to happen when you move to Milford. How will I act? What if I see you? What will I do?
We'll eat our dinner, prepared with love from scratch by my friend. We'll plan our impending trip to Florida. And I'll think of how I don't know what to do with you. I'll think of how much I wish that I could think of you as a friend and nothing more.
While my friend cleans up the table, I'll check my face in the mirror, my stained lips a scarlet reminder that I've been imbibing all night. I'll tell myself that if you write me tomorrow, I just won't respond. But, even inebriated, I'll know that it would be impossible for me not write you back. I'll fall victim to the way I feel when I see your name, the school-girl giddiness I feel when you write something remotely complimentary, the way you make me weak with French phrases I don't even understand. So I'll write you back, of course, and get myself deeper and deeper into trouble.
The evening will move onto dessert and after-dinner drinks, but I'll opt to stick with thick red wine, preferring the way it makes me feel slow and luxurious as opposed to the buzzing feeling I get with Vodka. I'll laugh at jokes my friends make, even when they're not funny, because I'll be thinking of how you surprised me last night. I'll be thinking of how happy it made me to talk to you and laugh...I'll be thinking of your laugh finding its way through my phone and landing in my ear, honest and hearty. It felt delicious.
My friends will turn on the TV, flipping through channels while I allow my car to get warm. They'll tell me about their plans for the weekend, but my mind will be elsewhere. My thoughts will be syrupy, slow and viscous, but they will all be about you. I will be thinking that I know how you feel about me, even if you don't say it. I'll know that it's more than physical, even if physical is all we can have.
Before I know it, it will be time to go home. I'll shuffle through the cold and out to my car, wishing I still lived just next door. I'll drive home, twenty-five miles per hour, thinking all the while of how unfair it is that our time was never right.
After my short drive, I'll get home, shed my clothes and crawl into my lonely bed, thinking of what will, or won't, become of us.