It is supposed to be fun. This side of things, she said, it is supposed to be fun. There is place plenty for the real world in her real relationship and this one, the other one, it is supposed to be fun. She thinks about the word “affair” and it sounds light, ephemeral, it sounds almost translucent. It sounds like a thing that can be rolled over the tongue, it sounds like picnics in dandelion fields in baking summer with wicker baskets. It sounds like the small leather straps that hold the plates in place and it sounds like pushing one another, laughing, off the warm rocks and into the icy-cold water, of splashing, of laughing. It is supposed to feel like a holiday from the real world. It is supposed to come without responsibility and it is supposed to weigh nothing. She should be able to carry this and many others without a care in the world, barely noticing, she should be able to stuff her pockets with these boys and vacation to them when she feels the wrack and ruin of reality. The kisses should be feathers, the embraces should be fat, fuzzed bumblebees. Her back should not be breaking.
They are sitting in the small corridor beside the bed and they are pretending not to hold hands. This is difficult, because they are drunk. They believe themselves to be cocooned in the thick liquor cloak of invisibility and they think that these hands, their hands, are subtle explorers shrouded in disguise. They are not. Everyone in the room can see they are holding hands, everyone is not mentioning the fact that their hands are making their way into one another and their eyes are grinning. Everyone is not mentioning this fact because everyone wants to believe in the myth of the weightless, translucent affair. The room is playing dress-up at being bohemians and insisting that we can all kiss and swap and swoop on one another and it won't hurt at all.
The room is lying. Somebody is going to go home in tears. Somebody is going to punch something and someone is going to forget the wall always wins, we shouldn't take on the wall. The wall is made of concrete. Your heart and your fists are cast from loose flesh and reopened scabs.
Nobody is having fun. The moment of first kisses and topsy-turvy love has passed and the first rush of spring they'd thought they were promised has given way to another snowfall. It is cold and I don't want to get out of bed. I don't need to, I am alone with the duvets pulled close. There is place to sprawl. I lock the buttress walls and pull the portcullis, and I take my own vacation.