Rooftop Blues

by Charlotte E. Wilde

As Ryan Adam’s 29 slithered out of my Macbook’s shitty speakers I leaned into the electric shock of your tongue tracing the outlined triangle of my collarbone and felt your hand slide its way up my thigh, slow and sure, just like I knew you’d be.

You had a girlfriend; I think that’s why I liked you. It facilitated my romanticizing the idea that you couldn’t be interested, created the impression that your true interest lay, instead, in my intellect, our connection, such as it was.  Yet, three hours and an Alt-country montage later the blur in our eyes and slur in our speech lent itself handily to the idea that the night didn’t exist and everything that was would cease to be come morning. And so, with the blue lights of the 5th/3rd building marring our horizon, the “good intentions” that had only existed in my mind drifted upwards like the smoke of your cigarette, or plummeted like my reserve.

That afternoon I had stood voyeur-like on my roof watching you work on your motorcycle, all long legs and a lean, slow smile. She came over and you left, or she came over and you stayed; I’m not sure I was jealous, just biding my time. It seemed simple to me somehow, a given: lust trumps love every time.

Weighing my options and anticipating your regard, I returned from my run slipping my shirt over my damp shoulders, as though the heat had just become too much. You were frozen, leaning nonchalant over the railing of your back porch, a cigarette dancing marionette-like from your lips, but I felt your eyes trace the outlines of my sweat slicked abdomen, flicking down towards bare legs, and then away.

“Oh hey,” I sighed, “it sure is a hot one.” And I wiped my face with my t-shirt, so you could take another peek. Calculated, always, knee-deep in the only arithmetic that had ever interested me.

That night I’d enticed you over with a plateful of garden tomato scrambled eggs and bottle of Four Roses; you drank yours with ale-8 but the only chaser I needed was the challenge. When 1AM saw us shimmy out my window onto the roof, victory’s sweet aftertaste whispered her rocky kiss and knew I could have whatever I wanted…whatever that was.

We spent that night slipping our hands over one another, never reaching a conclusion, thesis-less papers with “good ideas” but no true goal. Unwilling to put in the leg work required, or just not caring.

I woke, only a few hours later, damp with early morning dew, unsatisfied and no-less awed at my own success.  Slipping back inside I splashed my face, unwilling or incapable of contemplating the reality that had piggy-backed in on the sun’s first glaring look. ‘Can you wreck a home that never existed?’ I guiltily whispered to the bottom of my instant coffee an hour later, and watching your perfect shoulder-blades disappear under the roof your front porch I wasn’t sure.

It turns out you can. But maybe that home was mine.