The clock keeps ticking away. Nearly time for our clandestine meet-up. I look forward to it. I am impatiently awaiting it, almost obsessively counting down the minutes until we will find ourselves walking alone, side by side, down the inner staircase, through the dim-lit yellow corridor, out through the back door, past the bike shed.
I long for his boyish wavy hair, I wish he’d grown out the crew cut of his mid-thirties back to juvenile rebelliousness, just for my smelling and caressing pleasure. This very noon.
“Did you sleep well last night?
I barely closed my eyes”.
The room had been enclosed away, almost encased, by middle-aged curtains yet the clock kept tickety-tock ticking away.
It was now my turn to say something. Yet I couldn’t hold myself still.
I wanted to touch his skin. I yearned to smell and get too close to him, so close that I would almost feel oppressed and stop wanting to breathe.
I felt a tear shaping up in the corner of my eye (just getting all bothered with emotion). Adrenaline flying through my veins. Premonitions of doom for a whiskey-drowned encounter. Still images and silent whispers that alcohol and many air miles would help flush away a few days later.
I imagined an unmade bed and the almost impersonal hotel décor that would witness our caresses.
Yet when the time came for walking past the bike shed, I took the wrong turn. I turned left, through the main square, past the town hall, to the hipster corner bar. He would down three vintage whiskeys there, listen to me talk about my childhood clumsiness, sweat off his nicely ironed blue-checked shirt’s armpits and meekly, almost apologetically leave me for his mid-afternoon meeting, which could neither be cancelled, nor skipped.
The clock tower was tickety-tock ticking away.
Are you upset?
I finished the last drops off his drink. And I did not even like whiskey.