I walked into the studio feeling a little sluggish, definitely not the way I wanted to start the morning. Yet there I was with so much to do, to relax now would make the eight months leading up to this day a loss. “Finish strong", I told myself. I had to resolve a number of issues with my upcoming art event, and it varied from a final cut on a short film, the last brush strokes on art pieces, and the clothes. Oh my, the clothes. So I dug in. Sitting in front of my power Mac, I began to watch the current cut of the short on the 27-inch screen. The flow was impeccable and with a few minor changes to the intro, I felt it would grab the audience and bring them into my world.
At times like this, when I get into the zone, I’d think about the journey to the present moment. This time I thought about Summer. It wasn’t any specific thought of her that jumped into my mind. It was more like a mash up of everything from the island resort stay to our trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Amongst the backdrop of the good times there was all the hiccups that resulted in us taking the dreaded step of deciding to call it quits. They say all good things come to their appropriate end and just like that, it was over. A few short months after the breakup, I ran into her on the set of a video shoot and we were cordial and all, but there was this look she gave me biting her lip just a little that struck a cord with me. I called her the next day. That was relapse one.
There was a knock at the sliding glass door to my home studio that looked out onto the crystal blue waters of my pool. Sometimes when working, I would have to close the blinds to keep focus as, Kimberly and Okoye would be out there sunbathing. The knock was Ricardo. He came by to help with the logistics of the art installation and assist in making everything as magical as possible. Seeing him as I slid open the glass door reminded me of the link he had in common with Summer, and now she was back in my head like a catchy hook to a song that won’t go away.
My second relapse with Summer started at a coffee shop. I was getting that afternoon fix and there she was looking as amazing as ever, legs crossed sitting in a corner by herself. I debated whether or not to go over and say hi. It was one of those awkward moments. My resolve was to order my drink and go, leaving it up to her to approach me, real grown up right. I ordered my small iced coffee with room for cream because I enjoyed watching the milk mix with the coffee, and I would slowly pour it in. In that time, standing at the condiments station and not thinking it would be my undoing, Ricardo would walk into the joint recognizing me off the bat. At that point in time, we hadn’t seen each other in years, basically since college. To know Ricardo it was to know his boisterous laugh and his way of talking. He explained to me as we talked, that since college he’d traveled to Europe and Spain, got married, and ended up here working as a curator for another local gallery. We sipped our coffees and continued to talk as his wife, Dawn, had come over with their drinks. Before they left, Ricardo invited me over for dinner; he told me I’d love seeing his extensive library of art and design books. I agreed, as that sounded really cool. Energized by the chance encounter I saw Summer out of the corner of my eye, looking in my direction. I watched Ricardo and Dawn walk off and turned toward Summer. She smiled. I stood there as if I was naked, exposed to her alluring capabilities. She still sat off in the corner, slowly sipping her tea while people watching, which was something I never could understand, because I always felt people should be watching her.
I walked over, sat down, and talked with her for a bit. She had just signed on with a new modeling agency and was determined to get on a cover of a magazine, which for a model was an important step in creating longevity in the industry. I looked at my watch. It was 2:45pm. I needed to be back at the studio by 3pm that day. I looked to wrap the conversation up and we were getting along better than expected. The events of the first relapse played in the back of my mind, not yet manifesting itself in my speech or body language. Then she touched my hand that was casually placed on the table between us. I looked into her eyes and all the tender and intimate moments came rushing back like a tsunami. I questioned myself. Was her hold on me that strong? It couldn't be. She broke up with me. I tried to feel hurt. I was the jilted lover, but with the chance of sex with an ex on the table, I played it as if I couldn’t care less. She then informed me she could come over that night if I liked? I said nothing, but reached into my brown Louis Vutton bag and pulled out my extra set of keys, the same keys I once took back from her to hurt her. Now it was to use her. I got up told her I’d be home at 9pm and not to keep me waiting and walked back to the studio with a confused heart.
Ricardo looked over the film footage, himself feeling the same way about the intro and a few other minor spots. It felt good to be working at this level doing what I undoubtly loved doing, creating. We then moved to look over the actual art pieces hanging from the wall opposite my Mac computers in my home studio. We just looked, for a good few minutes in silence at the work, mentally piecing together the artwork that felt coherent and looked as if it was meant to be together. Ricardo and I discussed our personal take on the pieces hanging on the wall when he got a call. Figuring it would be a good moment to pause, we took a break. The sunset was gorgeous at that moment so I walked out the sliding glass doors to the pool and patio to think. A cool breeze blew as I looked out at the landscape in front of me, which lead me to think of her again.
As I left my downtown studio a little after nine, I had to be honest. I wondered if she’d already be there waiting on me. I drove the usual route back to my house with that thought on my mind the entire way. I laughed to myself thinking that my move of giving her my keys gave me “pimp” status. I pulled up into my driveway. Her burgundy camero was parked where she usually would park it. I walked inside to find her looking at some of the changes I made to the place since the break. We conversated a bit, real surface stuff nothing to deep. I made her a drink, and we continued to talk. I turned on some music while both of us were waiting for the buzz to kick in. We circled each other like a predator does its prey. I’d have to say in this day and time, hooking up with an ex seemed part of the adventure of human life. Much the same as the journey to finding love carried its own unexpected twists. I’m sure I loved her when we were in it, but now it was just about revisiting the familiar one more time to get back that feeling so things didn’t seem so lonely. We walked back to my bedroom with the sounds of Coltrane played over the Bose speakers. We undressed, as if in a doctor’s office feeling a hint of self-consciousness and took to it with a kiss. We, after what seemed like an eternity of fumbling around, fell into that familiar rhythm as she enjoyed herself gyrating on top of me, her opened hands pressed flat against my chest. She then leaned back, arching her back, taking me deeper breathlessly shouting out my name, and trembling. We held each other like before our perspiration co-mingling, her head on my chest, and my arm around her. It felt good, maybe a little too good. Because when she broke the embrace, it felt like the ripping of a bandage from a wound. She got dressed, and she told me that she had a good time. We kissed and, out of the corner of my eye, I say her place my extra set of keys on the nightstand and she left.
The next morning was a blur, yet it was very significant not that I was leaving to New York to meet with some interested brokers in a developing script I was working on, but for the realization I was yet to have. Kimberly was going to drop me off at the airport. With everything packed, I reached for my iPhone and my Ray Ban sunglasses from the kitchen counter, and it hit me. She had said my name when she came. She in our entire relationship, had never said that. Maybe she talked a little dirty, and we even got really kinky, but never did she say my name. And the way she said it oh! I was perplexed as I tried to recount all the times, but this was the first. We got to the airport. Kimberly gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I walked through security trying to get my head around it all, while looking at all the lovely stewardesses wondering if they’d rekindled for a night with an ex to curb the feeling of loneliness. Ultimately, I came coming to the understanding that its certainly bound to happen in an age where everyone is so controlled by their devices, and that sometimes getting the best of a person doesn’t come till it’s over.
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