Stifling Heat

I stared up at the ceiling fan as it whirled overhead. It was attempting to provide a breeze in the sweltering evening heat but to little avail. My oversized t-shirt clung to my back, sticky with perspiration. I raised my feet into the air, feeling the slight breeze tickle my soles. Then I rolled onto my right side and stared directly into the electric fan. The wind it created was aggressive and loud. My hair blew off of my face and I sighed blissfully.

Then my phone pinged.

I glanced at it, unamused, and snatched it off of the chipping, white side table. It was Ashley.

I heard what happened to you and Tom. I’m so sorry.

I frowned and turned off my phone. She’s not sorry, she is probably thrilled that he’s now available. She always liked him. I could tell by the way she looked at him and how she talked to him.

I rolled back onto my back and resumed staring into the ceiling fan, hoping to be hypnotized into a deep sleep.

Sleep. What a foreign concept to me at this point. I haven’t slept since we broke up a week ago. It’s been even longer since I’ve slept alone. Two years. It’s been two years…I don’t know how to sleep alone anymore.

I closed my eyes, hoping that if I pretended to be asleep, I’d eventually trick myself into falling asleep this time. Instead of looking at the back of my eyelids though, I was confronted by Tom’s face hovering over me, illuminated by the moon through the window. He was smiling mischievously, some locks of his golden hair falling into his eyes. Then I felt his warm, calloused fingers draw circles on my right arm. His breath was warm when he leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Tell me what you want.”

I smiled, relieved that he was back. He tenderly kissed my face, but when I tried to kiss him, he shook his head, his grin widening.

“Tell me first,” he said, kissing my neck. The sensation sent chills down my body, and simultaneously ignited my skin. “Tell me what you want.”

I slid my hand across my hot stomach and brushed the top of my pubic bone.

“I want you,” I gasped as my fingers dipped lower, probingly.

“What do you want me to do?” he asked, kissing his way down my chest.

My touch sent a wave of warmth over my body. “I want you to…” I panted.

“What do you want me to do?” he asked, looking into my eyes.

“I want you to—”

Then my body shook, and everything felt like it was on fire.

When my breathing slowed and I relaxed, I whispered, “I want you to be here.” I opened my eyes expectedly as if I had just performed a spell to summon him. All I saw though, was the whirling ceiling fan in my dark room. I was alone.

My face crumbled. The satisfaction that I created dissipated and tears streamed down my cheeks.

© 2018 Vic Romero – Performance Poetics Spring 2018

Wednesday Night

6:00pm

The hard, red exterior finally split in between my fingers and plump, white meat burst out. “See? It’s easy once you get the hang of it,” I explained, yanking out the flesh and putting it in my mouth.

She looked at me skeptically and then frowned at the lifeless lobster sprawled out on her plate. “I think this is the most barbaric thing I’ve ever done,” she replied solemnly before idly picking it up and ripping the tail off of the boiled body.

8:00pm

FULL TIME. COMPETITIVE SALARY. HEALTH BENEFITS.

Glassy-eyed, I scrolled through the job opportunities online, those key words attracting me to read more. I submitted application after application, hoping I would hear a response back soon but feeling doubtful. Online job applications felt like they were sucked into the infinity of space, especially due to the lack of humanness about the process. After about an hour of this mind-numbing activity, I picked up research articles I had printed out earlier and began to critically read them. This was mentally stimulating, but also mentally exhausting. Soon, I needed a break.

11:00pm

The blue string-lights provided an eerie ambiance in my room. The shadows on the wall were somber and crept along the top of my bed slowly as I climbed into bed. I studied the shadows closely for a minute, wondering if they felt as glum as I did since they were, after all, a shadow of myself. I sighed, rolling over to face the TV, and hit “play” on the remote to start a very romantic and emotional episode of Black Mirror.

© 2017 Vic Romero

Date on the Dock

It got quieter as we walked further down the uneven, dirt path and away from the party. The kids’ shrill screaming of “Happy Birthday” into a microphone diminished until it was entirely replaced with the squaw of birds and the rustling of leaves on the trees as the wind gently blew.  

We came upon the small, wooden dock hidden by the shroud of shrubs at the edge of the lake. She placed a thick, woolen blanked on it, which covered nearly the entire dock since the dock was small and the blanket was large. Then we lied down and basked in the warmth from the sun. She rested her torso on my legs, her weight pressing my legs into the solid dock beneath me. Her body heat kept me warm during cool breezes.

It felt romantic out here, being surrounded by nature and away from the disturbances of traffic and everyday life. The calm sloshing of water against the base of the dock relaxed us. The air was fresh and dry for once, unlike many of the stifling hot and humid summer days.

We overlooked the lake, admiring how the trees framed the dark blue body of water on one side. The leaves were a vibrant green from chlorophyll, and they crowded each other on the trees. The lake reflected some of the trees’ vibrancy in the dark waters.

The other side of the lake was lined with large houses. Backyards informed us that the houses may hold small children with an affinity for outdoor play, such as swing sets and forts.

My ears perked when I heard voices approach us. A family consisting of what appeared to include three generations of people, ranging from grandparents to children, rowed by us on the lake. The adults rowed unhurriedly and everyone laughed and talked animatedly. One of the adults caught my eyes for a brief moment as we watched them from the dock.  

© 2017 Vic Romero

Finally

I was ready this time.

I squatted with my back against the empty pickle barrels, tightly grasping the pistol, waiting. My hands were clammy and shaking, and I tried taking deep breaths to calm myself down. I didn’t want to miss again, not when I only had one bullet left.

I heard some loud footsteps nearby, presumably the graceless footsteps of the enemy. I leaned out from behind the barrel to get a better look, and sure enough, there she was. She was looking around the dim basement, her expression was frustrated.

Continue reading “Finally”

St. Elmo’s Fire

You shift in your sleep, your knee moving to rest against my thigh.  I stiffen as you exhale and tuck your head beneath the crook of my neck.  I tentatively inhale, your hair tickling my nose.  I’m enveloped in your scent as I lie here, awake in your bed.  Acoustic rock had lulled us to sleep, and later, had woken us up.  You must’ve turned it off at some point.

I want to roll over, but I’m afraid to move.  More than that, I’m afraid you’ll move away.  I would prefer to remain close to you, but I’m still unsure if that’s where you want me to be.  I’m also unsure if I would be crossing a boundary if I got closer.

You roll over, turning away from my neck.  I roll over to face the wall.  Your leg, however, finds mine again.

© 2016 Vic Romero

 

Greyness

Of course, he had decided to take the highway.  There was no traffic on the highway, so there was no stopping.  He must’ve known that if there was an opportunity to jump out of the car, I would’ve taken it.

I slumped down further in the passenger seat, my arms crossed over my body protectively as his words sliced through my skin.  He said we were having this conversation because he loves me, but I wasn’t feeling loved at all.  It wasn’t even a conversation; it was a lecture.  A lecture about me.  About what’s wrong with me.

Continue reading “Greyness”

A Short Tale About A Tall Guy and the Shitty, Short “Relationship” I Had With Him (possibly to be continued)

Told in the Form of Facebook Messages

I met a guy I liked but he came on too strong so I told him I just wanted to be friends..we got drunk and then he convinced me we should kiss cuz people do it and ever since we’ve been hooking up

All the affection from hooking up has caused me to like him again, along with getting to know him better like he’s a nice guy but now I’m just not sure

Continue reading “A Short Tale About A Tall Guy and the Shitty, Short “Relationship” I Had With Him (possibly to be continued)”