COPPERCHERRIES

Losing My Religion — R.E.M

My arm hurts. I look around, lots of separate conversations taking place, lots of friendships being made and broken. Our eyes lock, we see each other but something (STOPSIGN) obscures our views, I sip my beer, it tastes of copper.

Something like Gnarls Barkley is playing – it’s 2005? – we are splitting out on the way home. Future couples are not together but thinking about each other (I wonder if they are thinking the same things now) and there’s so much chemistry & biology in the air it’s like a science lesson. You forgot your jacket, I offer you mine, you burrow irrevocably into the sleeves, the fabric, it hangs off you like a cape, I’ll have to throw it out years later because you are still inside it. You know where I keep my cigarettes and you take one out of the hidden inside pocket, I make a joke about you taking everything, only it’s not a joke, when you laugh I want to give you even more.

We go back to M’s house. Someone starts playing Gnarls Barkley again and I steady my hand on the white plastic doorframe and take my shoes off, I leave them by the door (GETAWAY). The others are in the living room through the door on the right but I walk straight ahead into the kitchen and look for the fridge – it’s hidden, designed to look like a cupboard, you come in and laugh and open the pine door to my right. It’s dark and you look beautiful in the orange yolk fridgelight.

I think we joined the others after that, I can’t remember now, but eventually, once the night’s drama was resolved (tears?sex?), we are sitting next to each other outside smoking, our backs against the cold brick wall. Your head rests on my shoulder and you curl your fingers into my free hand and they interlock with mine. Well aware the next night’s drama will be ours, I flick my cigarette away to stand and pull you up alongside me and we’re back to the biology lesson (I always preferred biology to chemistry) and I have to duck down eversoslightly and you have to lean up eversoslightly and the distance gets eaten by our mouths and I remember your lips tasted of cherries.

Hours later I wake up in a forest of coconut hair on the (blood)red chesterfield sofa with a coarse woolen blanket covering your unbuttoned jeans. The everything I wanted to give you lay behind those copper boundaries (STOPSIGNS) and I’m so scared of it that I never made it further. I’ve been lying on my arm almost all night, I can barely feel it.

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