When I walked tie off and whistling from schools gate forever, I passed your house.
Probably passed you, an 8 year old Cindy Brady burrowing deep into middle Melbourne. I would only wear my blazer again to mock my Wheelers Hill history.
When, a month after my wife left; sat in my one chair, my one plate and one cup the only mess in a house kept like the action of scrubbing might cause her return, I was shocked by an acceptance call from Monash. I’d been so drunk I forgot I’d applied.
When you sat next to me in class the first time I was nervous like I’d forgotten I could be. I laughed at what you said before you finished saying it. I was conscious of my hair.
When you walked away I always watched you. I stole looks at your legs. I ate your mints and felt familiar.
When I talked about uni I talked about you. I felt a flattering warmth, a slight affection. A beginning again of happiness. “ I’d better get your phone number” you contrived and
when you text me twenty minutes later, including an X, I smiled the length of the Eastern..
When you wore those long white socks and white dress I was infatuated.
When I discovered that’s what you wore to work I was slightly disappointed it wasn’t for me, loved the fact that anyone could wear that to work and was, for the first time, envious of the disabled.
When I heard you didn’t drink, I lost plan A, which was to ask you for a drink. Also I worried you were religious.
When you visited the first times it was about study, ostensibly. I think I did well pretending to say enough of use before I could take you into my suburb. How the hell can you never have been to Fitzroy? I thought you’d like the shopping, I guess I’d never really thought about what you wear, or anything about shopping really.
When you sat in the Labor in Vain, you said it looked like a film set. At the Curry and the Peel your fascination was only exceeded by the mystery of what took you so long to experience it. Gays and Rockers. Wellington street Collingwood. It’s not Mars.
When we kissed, I was drunk. It was goodbye, I went for your cheek, you turned your lips to mine and we pecked. I turned away. Wheels turned and I thought, she kissed me on the lips. I turned slow like the drunk I was and kissed you properly. 15 again. I can’t believe you had the courage to do that you said. What did that mean? Bye Liz, Bye Simon.
When we ate at Williamstown, it was post kiss. My manners were perfect and I had my others approval, just. I loved seeing parts of Melbourne fresh in your eyes. We were noticed by a student’s parent and you were assumed my wife. We were always relaxed about the similarities. We watched a film, sober, and didn’t kiss.
When I opened the car door to you that Saturday, only three nights later, you were so fucking you. A film moment, black heel steps on the curb, black skirt, short and tight, a sequined singlet. Hair and face perfect – I have no idea how this is organized. You drove for three hours to be there. You told me you wore no panties.
When we kissed again it wasn’t that significant. But the next Friday I stayed sober and we lay on the carpet for hours. That was a great night. Sober. I asked you about us. I asked you if you wanted me to love you. You said no. It was the right answer, as in, what you should say. What if I did? I could cut you off, you said.
Whenever I looked at you, thought about you or spoke to you, my thought was the missing bit. Why was my world so interesting? What went on when you weren’t with me? I’m not wearing panties you’d reply. Awesome argument.
When a day went past without a text, I noticed but didn’t worry. That was the first day in months. Except for two days when my phone went flat and you were not happy.
When you call.