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All I could hear was the humming of the light and the muddled voices coming through the wall. She sat in the corner trying to warm herself from the frigid air circulating throughout the room. It felt like we had been waiting for hours, but I looked at the clock and it had only been fifteen minutes. She got up and walked to the window. She looked out at the parking lot and watched a woman exit her car. There was suddenly a bang. We were both excited by the distraction. We looked at one another, perplexed. After the moment passed, we resumed our positions and continued to wait…

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I stood outside the hotel smoking a cigarette. I wondered if I would run in to him; he was often in the neighborhood. The doorman came outside to help her with her bags. I walked over and introduced myself. She handed me a few things to carry and we headed upstairs. As we got in the elevator, I imagined there was something more inappropriate waiting for me in the room. I unlocked the door and we walked inside. I placed her things down and took a seat on the bed as I waited for directions. I noticed a bottle of white wine and empty beer cans on the counter. Lingerie was casually hung on the bedside lamp. Someone turned on the light. I stood up and walked over to the windowsill so that I would be out of the way. I looked outside at the cluttered New York City buildings in front of me and wondered where he might be…

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It was after midnight and we were dancing on his roof top. The Manhattan skyline was the perfect backdrop for the evening. He was gentle yet aggressive; a rare combination. They sat in a line on the ground watching. I thought them to be drunker then they probably were. His roommate put on a song from the 1930s and it seemed appropriate to stop dancing; I wanted to devote my full attention to the scratched melody. We were all suddenly silent as we listened intently. I thought, as I looked over at New York City, ‘finally….’

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She was in her bedroom pacing. I found her paranoia perplexing. A simple missed call had put her into an inconsolable state. Attempting to separate my own melancholy from the situation, I tried to reason with her but she was in no mood for logic. I glanced down at the floor and noticed that the ashtray was filled with smoked cigarettes. My eyes darted back at her again when she convinced me that I couldn’t understand. She told me that a series of unfortunate events had left her exhausted and, yet, she found it impossible to rest. Once I realized that my presence only aggravated her more, I decided to leave. I gently closed the door hoping that she would be able to sleep and awaken what pieces of her that were left…

in the mood for love : part two

The void slowly filled. I didn’t know if it was she or just the presence of another, but deciphering the matter seemed inconsequential…

…I was reminded of her anatomy as we embraced. Suddenly, the simple pleasantries we had exchanged in the past were not enough to appease me; I wanted more. Unsure of how to proceed, I sat down and she followed. I could feel the gelatinous tension harden as she attempted to distract me with words. The defective atmosphere began to gradually shift and a moment of opportunity presented itself; and so, I pulled her towards me. Hovering thoughts of indecision evaporated as my body took control…

in the mood for love : part one

I couldn’t remember how we had gotten here. But, the circumstances of the past seemed as irrelevant as those of the present…

…He opened the door and I was mute; words suddenly seemed unnecessary. I wrapped my arms around him and let my body collapse into his. He held me until I let go. We took a seat on the couch and pretended we weren’t both thinking the same thing. He stretched his arm out as to invite me in and I entered, with some hesitation. Idle conversation momentarily pacified my internal discord and than, he directed me on what to do. He touched me and I felt my congealing blood liquefy, as my skin comprehended what was about to happen. Forgotten memories permeated my brain while my body occupied itself with other things…

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I walked into the 5th floor Chelsea loft space and my senses were instantly stimulated. The lack of air conditioning made the pungent scent of sweat even more potent. The repetitious thuds of vibrating bags being hit sounded like automatic guns. Jump ropes smacked against the wooden floor, echoing the pulsating drums of distant salsa music. Grunts and heavy breathing filled the remaining space of the growing cacophony.

The bell rang.

One beep for a thirty-second warning before the round would end. Then, the double bell chimed, ending the round.

Silence.

A one-minute break. The only sound I hear is that of my heart beating. I notice the heaviness of my breath as the taste of blood fills my mouth. I closed my eyes when he punched me. How could I be so stupid? Panic sets in, and my only thought is how to get out of here, how to make it stop.

But now, the dissonance has quieted. A once torturous act of sparring has become like a game of chess. Everything slows down as I predict his next move. I notice what makes him vulnerable, so I attack his weakness. I remind myself that I am not without flaws. He too is paying attention. We respect each other and fight through the deafening sounds…

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I arrived at the hotel early; she was running late. I went inside the party and pushed my way through the crowd. I thought a drink would help pass the time. I ordered a free cup of Pinot Grigio and then took a seat on the bench. I watched in envy as the people around me made connections…

…I saw him sipping red wine. His bright orange jacket was hard to miss. He looked as uncomfortable as I felt, and so, I waved to him. He sat next to me and the conversation quickly turned toward the inappropriate. After our second drink he asked me what I feared he might. Without hesitation, I rejected his offer. He told me we would never see each other again and then asked if I was thinking about it. I admitted I was and kept to myself that I didn’t find him attractive. Moments later, she arrived. By the time he left, I had already forgotten his name…

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I dried my eyes and walked in. The atmosphere suited my mood perfectly. I took a seat and ordered a drink. The bartender could tell something was wrong, but she didn’t ask what. She returned to her friends at the edge of the bar. An old man with white hair and a beer belly put a Ray Charles song on the jukebox. I recalled the last time I heard it. I could feel myself on the verge again and quickly drank the remains of my whiskey. I put $10 down and left. I walked next door for my appointment. The smell of incense was strong. I headed to the back room and sat in the open chair across from him. He was a thin man with brown and gray hair; he looked older than he was. “Do you have any questions?” he asked and I realized that I didn’t. I told him what had just happened and how I found myself walking in his direction. He shuffled the cards and then closed his eyes. I thought, as he attempted to search for predictions, that he was a fraud and it was a waste of money to pay someone just to listen. He opened his eyes and looked at me. He said, “After everything you’ve been through, you can survive this…”