He says he is panicking about getting his work done before I arrive. I give him options for how I can appease his need to get his work done. I too have work to do. I too could use a few more hours.
We agree to meet late. I am surprised at how I am surprised that he does not altogether cancel. We both know how tonight will end tomorrow.
I bring my laptop to finish the piece for the editor due in two days. At the cafe I have to move from an empty bench to a bench with a young couple, so that I can plug in my charger. They talk to each other as if she is a child and he is her mommy. They love each other very much, this they make clear. He tells his girlfriend how he's heard that David Foster Wallace had thoughts about existentialism while writing Infinite Jest. I try not to look at them.
I don't want to be sitting here, or working on my article. He texts me, he's leaving now, should I meet you there - yes - but they're closing - I'll head to the restaurant then - see you soon.
It is pouring outside when I leave with a refill on my tea. I try not to burn my tongue. I am nervous, or I am trying not to slip off the curb.
The restaurant is closed for an internal party. I text him to detour, we plan for the next block over.
I sit on a cushioned stool and ask the British bartender for another hot tea. I've finished my take-away. I take off my raincoat, the one I wore the night he and I had jumped a fence he led us to, one I had seen before on my own. The fence was on a site under surveillance and from the other side of the fence we surveyed the sight of the buildings. No one would be able to see us on this privatized forbidden land. The dark green of my raincoat conveniently blended in with the foliage that night. When we unzipped it the oversized slicker became an okay-sized blanket. Underneath we conveniently blended in with the foliage, except for my white ankles in the dark protruding lamely but clearly. Although it was warm out I had to pull them underneath. I had to bend my legs to fit them under the raincoat-blanket. Two bodies must overlap when given only space for one. It had not been raining that night, we had not known how it would end that night.
Tonight my face is already wet.
The restaurant is small and warm, string lights in red plastic shapes, a dimensional image of a fish lit with yellow. Pink punctuates throughout. Pigs, sows. Happy when you're in the shit. Roll around and tell yourself you like a shitty situation. Grow fat in your belly so your belly is prized. A pig will eat anything, including a human body.
My face is growing hot in the restaurant. I tug at my wool turtleneck, my long skirt, my hair is down. The bartender checks on me frequently until my other arrives. I do not see him come in. The bartender is not so friendly with me anymore.
The menu has cockles on it and neither of us know what they are. We order two orders of deviled eggs and I refill my tea.
The inside of this restaurant is so warmly lit in contrast to the black downpour outside that I feel as though we are in a body. Put your hand over the flashlight and see how it glows. I am under the thumb here, I am glowing and red and trapped beneath pressure. I look at him next to me and wonder what he uses his thumb for, what kind of pressure. Have you seen flesh throb from pale to pink to red?
The restaurant is busy but not crowded. I meet the eyes of men around us. His long legs are interwoven with mine on our low stools at the bar, facing each other. Why put a table between us when we make do with this small space between our legs instead. Why keep a distance when the point is to close it up. His hand is on my arm when he asks me what's happened. My cheek is to his cheek when I point out the pink paint on the walls. His hand slides from my hip to the curve of my haunch to my thigh before off of me. Two men having dinner across from us watch.
Haunches like a roasted leg. Drippings imply the heat has reached a melting point for fat, but cooking any meat thoroughly requires a longer time to penetrate, unless you like it pink. Solid at room temperature, fats quickly melt into oils at an energy of 9 Calories per gram. The fat of a pig is called lard, of beef is called tallow, of chicken is schmaltz, of me as you like it. How does he like it?
A body with a low percentage of nonessential fat may be a mirror on its hands and knees. When arms form right angles from a straight back to hands on the floor, the shoulders carved by blades and joints will jut ahead, in the head's direction. When legs form right angles from a straight back to knees on the floor, the ischia bones of the gluteus will protrude sharply, away from the head. The shoulders and ischia offer four handles at opposite ends of the body. This image is a mirror in the likeness of an underweight figure. This image is a body sprouting handles on the floor. This image is waiting for direction because why else would a body be on its hands and knees on the floor?
He calls a car and it is still raining. We don't unzip my slicker into a blanket but I draw up my ankles from underneath anyhow, we are two bodies sitting in one place. We get out of the car and it is still raining as we cross through the wind to his building's entrance. I am glad I am wearing my raincoat, my face is already wet.