I am where I said I would never be—no, not on the crest of Everest or the top floor of the Empire State Building—but on the edge of her bed. On the edge of her bed, staring out at the pool. The morning sun is reflecting off a diamond surface; the pool boy she hired for the summer keeps it looking like glass. Across my eyes—light dances across my eyes energetically, undulating to the rhythm of the water’s surface. A waltz. I am on a beach, a beach not with sand but a pink sheet overlooking a small ocean. A cell of an ocean. Its perimeter is so small for an ocean. The pink sheet is taught under me, another pink sheet is ruffled over my lap as I daze confused into this small, pristine ocean. I am where I said I would never be—on the edge of her bed.
It’s ten in the morning. Twelve hours ago I was free. Ten hours ago I was living my life to its fullest. Eight hours ago I fucked up. Big time. As I sit here, on this pink beach watching the small ocean I’m wondering where I am. I know that I’m at Sixty-Four Sundial drive. But where am I? As I sit here and ask where I am, I can tell you where I’ll be. I can look you straight in those ocean eyes and tell you where I will be. The sun rests on the ruffled pink sheet that so passively paralyzes me. I can feel the warmth seeping to my bare thighs. I haven’t moved since I sat up. I’ve been entranced by the ocean outside her window. Her window. I can tell you where I will be. I will be in happy. Or a suburb of happy. I will be in the glazed-over look of happiness. I will be by her. By her. By her side every step of the way, past moving in together, past marriage, past childbirth. I will walk with her to our divorce, then remarriage because we couldn’t find anyone else who would put up with our shit. I will walk right beside her while we bury a kid, marry a kid, and see our grandchildren at their graduation. I will walk by her through life and still on to death. For what? For what? To say I have lived. To say I have lived? Sixty-Four Sundial drive is where I will be, twenty, thirty, sixty-four years from now. For what? To say I have lived.
Eight hours ago I saw her. I saw her. My friend introduced us. Eric did. Hey, meet my friend from college he said. I met her. I met her. We hit it off. It was amazing. Nothing but laughs. I laugh. I’m laughing even now. Even now as I dent the side of her mattress. Her mattress. I sit wedged between pink sheets that I despise. I hated them the first time I saw them, five hours ago. I wanted to rip them to shreds. Fuck me. I want to rip them to shreds. I can do nothing but sit and think. Can I call this thinking? I just had the best sex with the funniest chick I’ve met in years. In twenty-three years. In my life. She’s a fling. A thing. A stranger with whom I’ve laughed. Yet I am here. That’s where I am. Here, in the last place I thought I’d be. Beside her.
Sun pours into the bedroom. The vertical blinds chop it up into bright beams of light—barring me in. Keeping me. The interstices of incandescence ignite innocent flecks of dust as they so lazily pass through the air. I can see them. They burn so brightly, then become dull again, and through another beam of light they become alive. As if the light lets them show who they really are, not lifeless bits of hair or skin, but fireworks of spectral wonder. I am a piece of dust, people I meet are the beams of light. I do my show for them, and move on. Again for the next, and so on and so forth until I find myself here. Wherever here is. This floating piece of dust has found a light stronger than others. A light that keeps me shining and doesn’t let go. A light that keeps me the next morning. Where the fuck am I? In the place I thought I’d never be. Be side her.
I am where I said I would never be. On the edge of her bed. What scares me is that I see myself here tomorrow morning. At this very hour, twenty-four from now. I see myself drawing taught a hideous pink sheet while ruffling the other over me. I want to let the sun seep through the ugly pink sheet to my thighs. I want to turn around right now and see her face. I want to see her face again tomorrow. I want to see her face again in ten years. I look out to the pool. The waves of azure crumple against the walls. The stupid pink sheets crumple across my crotch, between my thighs. They still smell like amazing sex with the funniest chick I’ve met in years. I finally find the strength, internal and external, to lift myself from the beach. I stand there. I stare out at the pool. The sun and reflection dance across my body. Every curve and edge is illuminated. The sun reaches her face. Her eyes open. As I turn around to look at her—At home—I see the very same blue I respected from her pool. I see the deepest blues. I see her. She scans my naked body. I hide nothing. As if waking from a coma, she smiles at the only face she recognizes. I run my hand across my beard. I speak to her. Don’t ask what I said because I don’t remember.
In an instant as short as my realization, I sprint. I sprint to the sliding door that framed my blue ocean. I ran from those hideous pink sheets, I ran from every light that shone on my dusty, incandescent tap dance. I ran from Sixty-Four Sundial drive. I ran for the pool. The perfect leaf-free pool that lit my body that morning. I jumped. I jumped high and I landed hard on the cool surface. Water broke. Water went everywhere. Water almost reached the sliding glass door that separated house from home. The slender, nude body of that chick I met last night. That chick that Eric introduced me too. That chick. That her joined me for a swim. Two naked people swimming in the sky. Nothing covered, nothing to hide. Just skin. Two naked people. Together.
I am where I said I would never be. Home.