And he moved in. My neighbor. I don’t know if I’m happy about it or not. I like having been left alone for so long. My own little corner of the world. My personal space. I can be uninhibited, walk around naked all day if I want. Grab my mail in my panties and turn my stereo way up. No thrashing against my wall at 2am because I’m being too loud or whatever. Those walls are so thin I swear I could see through them.
I got a glimpse of him though. Short hair- black- olive skin. Total post-haze frat type with an ego that could eclipse the sun. I mean, he’s hot. He moved in about a week ago and I can here him bringing in women every night. And I mean women, plural, per night. Supposedly, according to neighbor community law, this gives me late night hollering privileges too, but I don’t think I’ll do anything about it. He’ll just have to deal when the time comes. Next time Molly comes over we’ll drink loudly.
I feel a little strange, for having to listen to them all night, like I’m intruding on them or something. But in the morning when all is so quiet, I can’t help but wonder if he’s the only one left in bed. I find myself standing there, in front of the sink, staring at the cheap plaster walls, wondering if that wall wasn’t there, if I could see him. I like to think that he and I are the only ones waking up next to each other in the morning. In separate rooms, obviously. My breakfast toast has been burned all week because of it. Damn it. I need to get out more. I can’t even engage with my baristas. It’s been like a year and I don’t think they even realize I come through just about every evening. I’m a friggin hermit. I’m a night owl too, and I spend it like a total nun, watching infomercials and spotty films. What else am I gonna do.
I’m standing here, in front of my mirror. The strands of my hair fall lifelessly around my shoulders as my blouse sags over my drooping skirt. My shoes are stained and I look something like a total catastrophe. Everything about me is out of place and I don’t know why. I always feel like my body doesn’t fit with the clothes I want to wear, so I just throw on drapes and walk around like I don’t care. We all care. Especially the people looking at you.
I’m out the door and walking along the sidewalk, glancing shyly at my reflection each time I pass a tinted building window. People look at me through the glass as I look into it. Even though we observe the same thing, I wonder if our perception matches. Either way, I troll along, mumbling to music and avoiding eye contact. No need to mention what the day is like ; I’m inside the office most of it anyways. I work for —— magazine doing layout work. It’s an alright job. Pays cool. As I enter the office and maneuver through the corporate cafes and etc. toward my “cube” I catch eyes with the closest thing to my personal, office affair. Rick throws a grin, I throw the finger. We part before we approach. I figure we’re progressing pretty well. My coworker, Mindy, catches the interaction as she exits the bathroom and rolls her eyes so hard I think she might be seizing.
“The sex is that bad? Huh?”
I shrug, pinch her bum and snicker coyly as she jumps.
“Oh! How could I forget. You’re gay,” she pouts, fixing her skirt.
“It’s a spectrum, Min,” I assure her.
“People say that, if they just don’t want to commit.”
“No, it’s a complicated human thing. People don’t pursue anything past awkward office affairs if they don’t want to commit.”
“Right,” she catches the pointed comment.
I look at her. Mindy is a total office catch. Blond hair, legs for miles, blah, blah, blah… You get the picture. She’s had such good luck with guys, sexually, that she’d never known a situation left open to question her orientation, taking for granted, daily, what some women only ever feel the blunt end of. To be honest, I don’t think she’s every really thought past the outfield, and she may have more home runs than Barry Bonds, sans the steroids. She catches my eye.
“Fine,” pushes out her chest, “Asexual.”
I close my eyes in annoyance.
“Why do you have to label it? It’s like committing to a title before finishing a book. My sexuality happens to be complicated.”
By now we’ve reached our adjacent cubical and my hands are doing all the talking. Mindy leans over the top of the wall separating us.
“Well your sexuality might be complicated,” her hair falls provocatively over her flushed cheek,
“But mine isn’t.”
My gaze follows her “pause for emphasis”, which is pointing, bated breath, in the direction of the striding figure of Marlon P. Curby, our project head.
“Oh, god,” I vomit, “He’s a total prick.”
“Mmm. But a fine one,” Mindy is practically salivating.
And I wonder. How in the world have I gotten to be friends with this girl? She’s a nymphomaniac, practically. She opens her legs for every guy that walks by, I can hardly open my mouth to say “hi”. Where’s the common ground?
Suddenly, I’m flashing back to my neighbor. I wonder if he’d like Mindy. I finalize that thought with a “Yes” he would. He’d prefer her to me. I’d prefer her to me. Half the time I can’t stand me.
All this introspection makes me feel creepy. Like I’m observing my insides before a shower and realizing it’s a lost cause. Maybe I’ll just get into work. Yeah, get into the groove. Mindy just turned on the radio…to Barry White.
To Be Continued….