What Should Have Happened

Two lovers diagonally knocking knees, his gorilla hand in my hair gripping. Empty glasses posted on both sides of the bed, condensation the color of Jim with lime inching moments closer to the spine of a paperback picked up on a layover in Cincinnati, that trip I took alone to Chicago last August when it was hot and my hair was curly. I got to page 62, a three-week journey cut short by digital cable installation. I don’t remember the title. Something by a woman named Margaret or Margot or Ethel. I’d never name my child Ethel.

I shift to the left, disengaging our elbows, leaving room for him to rummage through our five favorite channels pre-programmed into the arching body of the clicker. We’ve already seen that episode, keep going. One rotation. Two rotations. We live a little and dance with channel 17. Jon Stewart is such a geek.

He dozes. I play with the tiny hair on the back of his fingers and resist every instinct to pluck one by one up over the wrist and straight through to the shoulder. He understands that I’m a girl that way. I imagine washing his hair and treating his scalp with leave-in conditioner. I think he likes me.

We sit up against the wall. Pillows to the left and behind and across like that. Seventh rotation. Numbing. Lovely. He stops on the fourth channel and nods his head in rhythm with the choreography of a work-out video infomercial:

Boom, boom, boom, baby.
Boom, boom, boom.

In unison we imitate the instructor, our hands now birds heading south, our necks pumping, pumping:

Boom, boom, boom, baby.
Boom, boom, boom.

What silliness! Me? Him? Rhythm? Pour another drink, you sassy one! We giggle, nuzzle, toss yawns across the covers. He counts the freckles on my right shoulder. He’s never bought anything through an 800 number. I need him.

What Really Happened

I bought a fucking copy of “Darrin’s Dance Grooves” on DVD featuring choreography from such award winning videos as Britney’s “Crazy” and N*Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.”

I swear to God this is his fault.