“Inhaling Calvin Klein”

I ask her for time to consider us a possibility…there is always the possibility that it will be like a makeshift reality or a radial neck fracture when you fall in Rittenhouse Square after a lovely brunch. And it’s not that you tripped on a rat, no, rats don’t come out after 2 pm, they usually play at 2 am, when the humans are sleeping.

 

I want to be home sleeping with her—to kiss her neck and feel her breasts and let our arms just mingle/tingle. It would be nice if my dog were in the bathroom and her baby not screaming—yes, this is how I envision my Thomas More Utopia, minus all the Protestants he killed.

 

It was then that I realized there was an interim.

Interims always and sometimes lack possibilities—like winning the Lotto at 7-Eleven.

 

She didn’t want to date an older woman, of which I’ve never considered myself, but as she was 41 and I’m 54, this gap became a problem.

 

She lived in the suburbs, still with her ex-girlfriend, because they were trying to sell their house, though they had been together for 15 years. 

 

She approached our conversations as if she were interviewing me for a job. Do you like children? Do you cook at home? What do you do for fun? Would you be able to send me a list of your ex-girlfriends?

 

A soul extraordinarily refined—she was an exhibit worth perusing at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao along the Cantabrian Sea.

 

I do like them younger, the skin moist, and the face not wrecked from tense moments sitting on vinyl chairs at the cardiologist’s.

A regular Madonna with infant in wedlock.

 

When I lived in Manhattan, my friends dubbed me the “Shiksa chaser,” as I’d occasionally, and sometimes regularly, propose to Evangelicals with a Rolling Rock beer at a dyke bar along Hudson Street.

 

Since my mom’s death, which will be three years this Sunday, I have found myself more attracted to mustached Jewish women.

Mother always made her preference known.

My brother’s wife, who wanted to bury him in a Catholic cemetery, changed her decision after they discovered she had a benign tumor, which was then malignant, but subsequently benign, after they purchased new plots in our temple’s graveyard.

 

My reticent/potential lover wanted me to join her church. If I joined her house of God, Mom’s ghost would have lit it on fire and elderly ladies with red/black wigs would have witnessed their hairpieces burn.

 

Mother is/was adamant about her kids not converting. Her father, whose soul does not rest, farted whenever they passed a cathedral in Montreal.

 

My mother, born in 1920, does not want me to marry a woman, but if it must be a woman, please, send the kids to Hebrew school. Let them get free Hershey bars with orange peels and complimentary tickets to see the Mets—a reward for their Junior Congregation attendance.

 

With my infatuate, there was something inherently depressing, particularly after she emailed a Smiths’ video, which inspired me to choose between cyanide or drinking a bottle of Calvin Klein perfume. And although I met Calvin Klein on Centre Street after 9-11, I never wanted to drink his perfume.

 

Eventually she stopped sending emails.

It was clear we weren’t going to be paramours on the Caspian Sea, that is, elope with poontang intentions rather than enter Mahjong competitions at the Y.

 

I’m a puppy in the shelter, hoping this chick will be his new master.

Every time my computer beeps I imagine she has written back, that yes, she wants more than sibling rivalry.
She’d let me hold her at 7 pm on a Friday night. Feed her spaghetti or give a back massage.

 

It’s nice to be buddies. Chums are superb beings. But now and then I want to hear someone breathe next to me at 1 in the morning when South Philly is finally quiet and the crack addicts have crashed. Yes, I have a dream.

About Eleanor Levine

Eleanor Levine's writing has appeared in Hobart, Fiction, Evergreen Review, Fiction Southeast, Monkeybicycle, Barely South Review, The Denver Quarterly, Pank, The Toronto Quarterly, Barrelhouse, Intima, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Kentucky Review, Juked, The Stockholm Review of Literature, Crack the SpineThrice Fiction and more than 50 publications.  Eleanor's poetry collection, Waitress at the Red Moon Pizzeria, was released on February 29, 2016, by Unsolicited Press.