Blind Items excerpt #3

July 28, 2011

I shrugged and stood up. “I should probably get going home.”

“Yeah, me too.”

“Where do you live?”

“I’m renting out the ground floor of a house in Boerum Hill.”

“Oh. I’ve always liked Boerum Hill. How do you like it?” I walked outside, wincing at the wall of humidity that hit me as we left the air-conditioned bar. The weather clearly hadn’t gotten the memo about it being fall.

“It’s nice. I’m on Dean Street. It’s a pretty neighborhood.”

And then this bit of stupidity slipped from my lips: “Ah. Well, I’m not too far from there. Do you want to share a cab?”

“Sure, all right.”

I was afraid to say anything important. I proposed walking towards First Avenue because it would be easier to get a cab there. I shoved my hands in my pockets to curb the temptation to touch him, and we walked in companionable silence, speaking only to comment on the temperature or to warn each other away from detritus on the sidewalk. When we got to First Avenue, I held up my hand and we got a cab fairly quickly. I directed the cabbie to go over the Brooklyn Bridge.

We hit traffic near Canal Street. Jonathan looked out the window and groaned. “Look at all the kids out. Clubbing on a Wednesday? Really?”

“Kids? Aren’t you only twenty-five?”

“Twenty-six. Too old for that scene.”

“Aw, come on. You didn’t go through that phase when you were right out of college and finally living on your own, when you just went nuts? I remember being twenty-three and… God, I did a lot of stupid things.”

“Yeah?” He looked like he wanted to ask what those stupid things were. I wasn’t anxious to volunteer. A lot of going home with the wrong men, more risky sex than I was really willing to confess to. But Jonathan just said, “No, I never went through a phase like that.”

“And yet you drink like a fish.”

Jonathan sighed. “I was nervous tonight.”

The parade of stupid continued when I heard myself ask, “Do I make you nervous?” Jonathan’s eyes widened, which was all the answer I needed. Breaking through the Great Wall of Denial would be the challenge here. Whispering, I said, “My editor wanted me to out you in the article, but I couldn’t do it. I want you to know that.”

Jonathan closed his eyes. Then the light changed and the cabbie raced through the intersection at Canal Street and hit a pothole hard, jostling us passengers, who hadn’t bothered with seat belts. I was pushed towards Jonathan, and I put out my hand to prevent myself from falling over his lap. Instead, my hand landed on his thigh, and when the cab was moving smoothly again, I found I was leaning against him, his face just inches from mine, our lips perfectly aligned.

“Uh…,” Jonathan said.

I listened as the cabbie chatted in Arabic to the hands-free device in his ear. “That guy hardly speaks English. He doesn’t know who you are.”

“Doesn’t change anything.”

“It does. You can be someone else, if only for as long as you’re in this cab.”

“Who would I be?”

“Whoever you want, babe.”

Jonathan parted his lips but didn’t move closer. I was close enough that when I opened my mouth to say something else, my lips brushed against his. “Are you attracted to me?” I whispered.

“Drew, please don’t—”

“It’s a simple question.”

“I….”

We hung there, mouths poised to touch, not moving, breathing hard. Then the cab pulled onto the bridge and jostled us together again. I smashed my lips against Jonathan’s.

One Response to “Blind Items excerpt #3”

  1. Linda C says:

    All right, the excerpts have me ready for more!!

    Hope you enjoy your brother’s wedding.

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