Mattie reluctantly arose from her warm king-sized bed - mounds of fluffy pillows - and meandered to the bathroom. In the hallway she grimaced at the mirror as she glanced at her image - a rift valley of frizzled hairs and other unrecognizable visuals she chose to ignore. The steam in the shower loosened her joints and warmed her body. Her firm breasts flowed with water and imaged herself a nymph or mermaid - perchance a statuette in a fountain. Shampoo - rinse - shampoo - rinse - condition - rinse - seal and protect - rinse. This daily routine, which she usually found boring, brought her much joy as she lathered and luffa sponged her body - she fantasied what men would say if she displayed her goods/wares in a Playboy centerfold. Would the men of America rejoice or repent in the $4.95 plus state sales tax they laid out for her debut layout? Reality surfaces as she remembered why she was in an overly optimistic mood - She was falling in love - well - maybe --- Sort of - David was handsome in his special way - masculine in his own special way. "But why haven't we had sex yet?!?" Mattie pondered. "I mean these are the 80's - Hello - I Love You - To Bed - 80's --- Is he GAY - Am I unattractive - Is he sleeping with another woman - Another Man!" Well as usual, Mattie could always depend upon herself to slump a high. The body refreshed - the mind all tense - she exited the shower and wrapped herself in the big - blue - fluffy towel which was her favorite --- A hint of body powders lingered in its fabric from her previous morning's beautification process. She stood there naked - no makeup - looking at her thirty-something body - Breasts firm - stomach flat - no grey in the hair YET - "Why hasn't he had sex with me" echoed again in her slightly neurotic thought chambers. As her hair is drying in her hurried French braids - she presses her pink poodle skirt and blue silk blouse --- Not her usual fashion statement - but she decided to go 60's for the day. It was Saturday and no need to look frumpy and professional. And since David had been dressing in yuppydom - this would be so cool - counterpoint - radical. Orange juice and a bagel with cream cheese are on the kitchen alcove - she munches and primps/posed in her hand mirror - "Are these curls going to dry. David will be here in an hour - if he didn't shack up with someone last night!" Always overly optimistic Mattie. Clean the dishes - make the bed - a moment’s pause as she arranges the pillows- "Why hasn't he sleep with me?" hauntingly echos in the ethers. Off to the powder room again - Mattie releases the braids and brushes her light brown hair - Add a headband and - Viola! - a sixty’s girl has been reincarnated. She turns on the radio and searches for the oldies’ station - "Damn it! Where is it on the dial?" David arrives promptly five minutes early as he has each of their other twelve dates in six weeks - Saturdays in the park - Wednesday night in a restaurant of her choice - "But he still hasn't had sex with me - Why?" the words vibrate and reverb in her apartment. The door bell chimes and she opens the door - his eyes open in adoration - love. Mattie wants to ask one hundred questions - to find - excavate - dredge the truth --- But not NOW --- She smiles, he steps in and smiles and she twirls to model her outfit. She was getting off the elevator at Macy's - dropped her purse - and David - a stranger - the southern gentleman behind her - picked it up and handed it to her. The past is history - and the present - is it the future?
Perry awoke from a nightmare - his heart was racing - face tense - chest soaking with sweat. He arose trying to regulate his heartbeat with excessive breathing and pulled his T-shirt off his clammy body. What was the dream - he can't even remember - He goes down the hall to the kitchen and raids the frig for a taste of cold water - then settles down on the sofa in the living room- An average man of looks, taste, knowledge and penis size - but to at least one person for now -- he was above average - even special to. After years of one night stands, mind games and smokey bars - Perry had become content to share Fridays with his best friend Hillary an older woman secretive of her accurate age - a long platonic enduring relationship. Saturdays were his day to shop, clean, laundry and cook a grand scale meal - usually for one. Sunday was a day for the Spirit and to rest the mind and body. Also his usual habit on Saturday morning included a visit to Boundaries, his favorite used book shop. The espresso bar had excellent coffee, cappuccino and croissants - Seeking to flee the boring 8 to 5 accountant's life, Perry eagerly escaped to the intellectualism and artistic air of the establishment. And also every one of these Saturday's, for months on end, he had noticed a certain cashier, the quite, yet handsome in his own way WILLIAM - that's what his name tag read. Never thinking it more than a momentary fancy or fantasy - William remained the clerk and Perry the customer. On this particular morning he had gone to the bookstore - expecting to have coffee, buy a book on his latest affectation and to see William. The routine was an ibid - except no William. And what a disappointment after a another tireless, boring week staring at numbers. "Oh - he's on vacation " said the clerk upon his inquiry. Disappointedly, daily chores awaited and he needed to run to the Food-R-Us for his shopping list to prepare tonight's Italian concoction. As he pondered the vegetable of the day selection - A strange - yet familiar voice spoke his name in a questing yet affectionate way. "Mr. Skyes - or may I call you Perry?" He turned and it was William! His heart raced and they both blushed to the shade of the turnips in Perry's hand. "How did you know my name?" in a lyrical tone and boyish smile inquired. William verified innocently - "After seeing you a the bookstore week after week I memorized it from your credit card imprint." "So I understand you are on vacation." A surprised look from William's impressed face, "How did you know!" Perry lifted his bag with Boundaries' imprint - "conspiring co-worker." They laughed in unison. As they talked through the dairy, bakery and frozen foods Perry gradually lost his shyness and questioned "Would you like to come over for dinner tonight?" "I'd really like that - it would give us a chance to get to know each other!" Well that was months ago and William co-occupied his bed that night and at random nights during the week and always every Friday and Saturday night. Last night William said "I love you" in a proclaiming, gentle voice. Perry smiled and whispered "I love you." "William would find me a fool -- probably not -- He'd hold me and rock me and affectionately, touch my body until all the hurt went away" The clock read 4:02am - Perry arose from his memory patterns and put on a new tee and slipped back into his awaiting bed. He wrapped the pillow with William's scent on it into his arms and fell asleep.
Bio: Terrence Sykes was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia. This isolation brings the theme of remembrance to his creations, whether real or imagined. Though not traditional in his spiritual path, these traditional threads of his past are woven into his tapestry of writing. His poetry has been published in India, Scotland, Spain and the USA.