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From all to nothing

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"Happy?" you say and pick up your underpants.

I blink and shake my head, to wake up from my trance.

"Um..." I think while you dress again. "I'd love to go over you with a microscope, study you for days... But you gave me more than I had ever expected." I look deeply into your eyes. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." You leave your bra and socks on the table and pick up the bottle again. "Can I have another cigarette, then?"

"Oh, sure." Still confused I follow you out on the balcony again.

You pick up the cigarettes, take one out and toss me the pack. "Was it anything to see, do you think?" you say after lighting it.

I've gathered my thoughts now. "Yes, I think so. The bits I hadn't seen before looked as I'd imagined them, I guess, but it's always better to know than to believe." I light a cigarette for myself. "You're beautiful."

"Piffle" you say and pour more wine.

I don't reply to that. I think about what I've seen. No, you don't match the ideals in magazines and on television. We both know that. But you are beautiful. Because of your pride, because of the inner beuty shining through. Because you are generous to an old friend and let him see what he's dreamt of.

Later, much later, I lie awake on the couch waiting for the room to stop spinning around. My thoughts are spinning too, around you, your body, and your soul. They spin around two very different things - what is, and what could have been.

If I listen closely, I can hear your slow breaths from the bedroom, and in the end that's what lulls me into sleep



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