Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Thanks for Remining Me I'm Single" Week - Distance

Prompt: Write about a train ride.

Source: None


We were too close together. The subway train was crowded, the people packed together. His back was against the wall, I had to brace my hands against it so I wouldn't be pressed against his body. We were too close together.

We had avoided looking at each other for days. We hadn't spoken since our most recent blowout. We were too close. I could sense his movements - his breathing and blinking and the way he shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

I didn't want to look at him or think about him, but we were too close. His smell was all around me - warm, tempting. He smelled softened, like he had just woken up from a quick nap. Beneath the shaking of the train, I though I could feel his heartbeat; he breathed and I breathed. My air tasted of him.

I could see too much of him without really looking. His clothes hung off of him, he was thinner than he should have been. The skin beneath his eyes was fragile-looking. He had not been sleeping either.

I wondered how I looked to him. Did I look thinner too? I hadn't been eating. Were my eyes deep-set and fragile too? I couldn't sleep anymore.

I tried to look away, but we were too close together. The train stopped and more people squeezed on. Someone bumped me and I had to catch myself so that I didn't fall onto him. We were too close together. Our legs tangled together; our chests almost touched. Our syncopated breathing shook us as the train shook us.

We were so close together we could almost taste each other. We couldn't look at each other, we were so close that if we had looked, we would have gone cross-eyed.

I shifted, too aware of the places where we touched, the places where we were too close together. His breathing changed - he held it for a second and then sighed a little. I wondered if he was exasperated that we couldn't avoid touched - that I couldn't avoid touching him. Or maybe he had held his breath to keep it from hitching while I touched him.

We were too close together. My breath sounded wrong. I couldn't stand to be so close to him. I could hear the last conversation we had had - a screaming match over something unimportant. I could not look at him, just stand pressed against the wall, against him. We were too far apart.

When we squeezed ourselves off the train, still pressed together too close, we could not avoid touching. I could hear his breath, his muttering about the crowd of people under his breath. His hand brushed my shoulder, down my back. I touched his leg and was unable to pull back.

The distance between us expanded the instant we were off the train. My skin tangled with his touch. The touch that had just been there - that was still there. We walked down the platform as if unrelated. People passed between us as if we weren't walking together. He was too far away from me. People touched me, brushing past me far too close. I wanted to touch him, to bring us closer together.

The pressure of his touch - the way his smell had lain in my nostrils, how his breath had thrown back against mine, the sensation of his fingers running down my back - lingered on me, but it was far away. I glanced at him over the distance that separated us. He was too far away. I wondered if he still felt my touch - did the way my legs, my chest, had pressed against his leave him tingling too? Did he long for me to touch him? I couldn't tell. We were too far apart.

Notes: So I cheated - I wrote this a while ago, but since this is my first offense . . . I'm not planning to punish myself. I did type it up for the first time today, if that makes it any better. I also promised that I would do a happy response during this week and I still promise I will. I also will add to that the promise that I will make at least one of these third person. And at least one will be from a male perspective . . .

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