Ian stares down at me from his tall frame, grabs my emptying beer, and shakes its contents. Not quite ready for another round.
“So I was thinking about you the other day, and I’m going to need your input.”
He goes on to discuss the song he’s writing about Lex; its overall creation and how he would talk about it to other people if he ever had to.
(As a creative type, you find yourself manufacturing alibis for your work, in the event you ever had to defend it in the court of law, or at a bar to some drunk asshole with sports cap with the sticker still proudly on it.)
I sink back into my bar stool, half listening to his defense of the piece, half admiring how boyish he gets when talking about his music. He’s nine and just found out his parents would let him watch a scary movie. It’s his first time fishing and he’s never been on a boat.
And then I think back to Lex, a young woman lost too soon who was apologetically herself in an artisanal sense. She left Ian and I with a lot of uncomfortable ideas about honor, an a myriad of misplaced one-liners. She also left us with each other-something I forget to be grateful for until I’m reminded of the evening we learned of her passing. October. His birthday. He picked me up in his green jeep after band rehearsal and we drove back to his place. A liter of vodka later I wake up next to him on his kitchen floor, having fallen asleep on his shoulder. We’d give ourselves a week of this.
We would not come to any conclusions in that time other than the logically deciding to quit the bottle for a while.
I bring myself back to center as Ian shakes my beer can one more time and opting to buy me my next one.
He closes our conversation and looks into the back of my eyes, hooking the darkest corners of my pupils with his. I’m reminded that intimacy can be as easy as sharing a mutual hell, or trusting someone with the softest sides of yourself you won’t even give daylight the luxury of seeing.