JULY 2009


A Dozen Notes to Ruben
By Brandi Wells, May 09, 2009

1. You are very quiet sometimes. You sit still and look the same as you usually do, only quiet. Your lips look the same, but they are not moving, not stretching to form words. No oohs or ahs or any of the other sounds you sometimes make.

2. One night I got out of bed thinking, you donít tell me you love me often enough. Or kiss me goodnight. I sat at the computer for hours. When I came back to bed, you woke up, kissed me and said, ďI love you.Ē I wondered if you could hear my thoughts. Maybe sitting so close to the computer, an electronic device transmits my thoughts to you. Maybe the metal in your earrings acts as a receptor. I think whenever you fall asleep, I will take out your earrings and put them safely across the room.

3. The way I lay on you is different than the way I laid on other guys. The other guys were all very thin, frail-like. I was careful, afraid of smashing them. But I throw all my weight on you. I really dig in, elbows and knees. Gravity helps me, pushes my weight and the weight of air and dust downward, while I attempt to crush you. But you are more than a bed to me.

4. One morning I woke up and noticed your pocket knife wasnít on the counter and your camera wasnít on my desk. Until I found your shoes and gym shorts by the front door, I worried you had left me.

5. Sometimes when you arenít looking at me, I stare at you to see if it will make you look at me. After a few seconds it becomes a sort of game. When you donít look, I feel frantic. Then I feel angry. I think you are playing the game too and you are better at it than me, winning, not looking. When you finally look at me and say, ďWhat?Ē it is patronizing. That is why I sleep on the couch some nights.

6. The first time we made out, at your apartment, I straddled your lap and you pulled both my arms behind me. I liked it, but you have never done it since.

7. I remember one time while you were dating Sarah (you might have broken up, but you were back with her later) I saw you with Rachel. You were both sitting on the couch, not even very close but there was something inappropriate about it. To me, it seemed (seems) like cheating. I didnít know you well then.

8. I rested my head on your shoulder while you were driving. You shrugged me away and said, ďIím driving.Ē That made me think you are probably the kind of guy who doesnít like car blowjobs.

9. When you are working on your car and I am reading on my front porch, you ask me how my book is. That is always the perfect question and also, I like the way your voice sounds when you are smiling.

10. I thought for days on how to give you the key to my apartment. I was worried you would think it was weird. So I put it on your key ring and told you it was there. If you didnít want it, you could take it off.

11. One time, I saw you and Daniel leaving the apartment complex and I waved. I worried about the way my hand was shaped, the motion, speed and length of my wave, but you waved back.

12. I have seen you eat a piece of your sock, dig in your ear with your glasses and then sniff your glasses, scratch your butt, pick your nose, belch, fall down, and piss on my bedroom floor and I still love you. Please never tell me if you see me do these things. I donít think I could stay with you.

Brandi Wells has a BA in Creative Writing and her fiction appears or is forthcoming in elimae, Pear Noir!, Monkeybicycle, Wigleaf, Rumble, and other journals. She has a chapbook forthcoming as part of the chapbook collective Fox Force 5, which is being released by Paper Hero Press. She blogs at brandiwells.blogspot.com.