This is my favourite piece of work. I wrote it on a napkin, and then rewrote it later that same day.
The slowly spreading smile on the face of the stranger sitting across from me arose within me a sudden blushing warmth that I had not felt in years. Tall and lean he dazzled me with his smile. He was terribly attractive and I felt like I could stare at him forever. Sitting and smoking, inhaling each poisoned breath, I dwell on how badly I want him to be mine, fully and completely. I blushed; he had asked why I was staring. I replied that I was honestly quite taken with him. He blushed in return. I suddenly felt very nervous. I was kicking myself for having said what I did, especially a stranger, whose name I couldn’t even remember.
So purposefully I diverted the talk to other things: where did he live? Did he work? Did he have a girlfriend? I was trying to change the subject. Truly, I felt rather uncomfortable with the fact that he had caught me staring. But now he was the one staring. Perhaps he was only watching to see if I was even listening, but I hoped not. Truth be told I wasn’t listening. ; my mind kept wandering to thoughts of a rather indecent nature…
If only he knew, I thought to myself. If only he knew how badly I want him fully and completely and I don’t even know his name. Did he even know mine? I lit another cigarette and tried to think of anything other than the thought of my bedroom, and him, and me, and tousled hair, and sweat, and smoking… always smoking. I doubted this perfect person would want to have anything to do with me, a broken, mere shadow of a girl. And I feared the moment I would ask him his name; make it known I wasn’t listening. He would be terribly offended, I was sure of it.
I butted out my Belmont. My break was over. I had to return to the monotony, clearing tables for impatient, impertinent people, working for next to nothing… I told him I had to go— was that a flicker of sadness? Perhaps he too felt as I felt. Perhaps he too was starved of human contact. As I stood to leave he slipped a piece of paper across the cold tiled table. On it was his number. It was only after he had left that I realized that I still didn’t know his name.



Whitby, Canada

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