D. came to my place when I was sleeping and like a good burglar, limberly jumped a side gate, quietly went across the lawn, removed the screen from my window, and was lying next to me in my bed before my eyes opened half in surprise and half in knowing because she did this all the time but we weren’t supposed to be doing this anymore.
“We’re stupid,” she said.
“I’m sleepy,” I said.
“Have you met someone new?” she asked.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Do you like her?” she asked.
“Not really,” I told her.
She brushed out my eyebrows with an index finger. I could smell the mud on her shoes. The wind picked up and the window-screen fell and settled into the wet grass.
“What about you? Have you met anyone new?” I asked her.
“Yeah,” she said.
“Then what are you doing here?”
(Why do people do the things that they do? And when does it become so comfortable and so essential that there is no reason to do anything else?)
The skin of her upper shoulders were cold but the skin of her thighs were warm. Her teeth were sharp and bright but her eyes were half closed and quiet. She felt more than she saw or said and when she was done she stayed on top of me.
“Hey,” she said.
“Hi,” I joked as if we’d just found each other after everything.
“Don’t ever forget about me okay?”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“Just say you won’t ever forget about me.”
“I won’t ever forget about you.”
“Because if you forget about me, I’ll disappear.” Big eyes like she means it.
“Me too,” I said.
I went to sleep not knowing if she’ll be here in the morning. I wasn’t worried about anything. We don’t really choose to do the things we do. We don’t get to pick if we want to remember this or that. We just don’t or we just have to and we just hope that we need the right things.