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The Ballad of Pumpkin Patch (Part III)

July 22, 2015

After Austin

He was going to Austin to visit friends that weekend. On Wednesday, I got sick. Tonsillitis. I was contagious.

“So much for making out with you before I go to Austin,” he lamented.

When he drove Friday he texted me updates. When I chastised him for texting while driving he starting sending me voice recordings. I would text him something and I would get a recording in response. Sometimes they were as short as two words. Others were weird observations from the road. It was the cutest thing in the world. I loved it. I loved holding the phone up to my ear and hearing his voice.

Saturday he kept me updated while he with his friends. Comic book shopping. Pin pall machines. He told he had drank some kind of dark draft beer with two shots of espresso in it. It sounded horrible to me but he claimed it was amazing.

“I think I might flip out,” he wrote.

“So instead of drunk texting I’m going to get hopped up on caffeine texting?”

“Maybe,” he replied.

At the end of the day he wrote, “Good night ‘lil bit.”

“Goodnight Pumpkin Patch,” I wrote back.

Saturday afternoon I decided to put myself out there a little.

“Is it ok if I tell you I miss you?” I asked.

“Of course,” he said.

“Well, I miss you then.”

“Awwww, You want me to come by when I get in from Austin tomorrow?”

“Yes, I do.” I said. “That would be nice.”

I was excited. I found myself thinking of nothing else. He would be driving in around 6pm or 7pm, my walking time. It’s so ungodly hot these days that that’s the only bearable time to be out there. I’ll try to walk in the morning, I told myself. I set an alarm for 5:30am and labeled it, “Walk now so you can make out with pump…” I hate getting up in the morning. Was I really going to make it to the park on a Sunday morning, for a boy?

I laughed at myself in the morning as I made coffee and drank it watching Seinfeld reruns. I slathered on the sunscreen and I was at the park by 7am, smiling as I rounded the corners because I was going to see my Pumpkin Patch that evening. I cleaned my apartment and folded laundry and touched up the greys at my roots. I washed dishes and cooked some lunch.

“You want some cookies?” I texted him.

“I always want cookies,” he replied in a voice memo. “Especially if they’re secret recipe cookies.”

I made cookies.

I kept fixing my hair and adjusting my make up. Why was I so nervous? I changed my clothes twice.

He drove up around 7pm, looking very tired. He stood around, not wanting to sit.

“You want to go for a walk?” I suggested.

“Yeah, that’s a good idea,” he said.

I put some shorts and converse on and we walked downtown. He wanted ice cream but the corner café was closed. We walked to Bordon’s across Johnston Street and got in line. He was talking non-stop the whole time. About his friends and what he did in Austin. When we were in line, he realized he left his wallet in the car. I didn’t have anything with me either. So, we walked back, making a loop around downtown.

We sat and ate cookies and drank a little wine and he talked and talked and talked for hours. I hadn’t seen him like that before. I kept waiting for him to say, “Well, it’s late I gotta go,” but he would just launch into another story. At some point, I don’t remember why, he mentioned that his siblings had teased him after he was newly single, calling him a man-slut. I filed that one away for later.

He said he had beer in the car. “Oh, you can bring it up and leave it in my fridge,” I teased. “I won’t drink it.”

“It’s beer you can only get in Austin,” he said.

“It’s funny that you think that would stop me from drinking it.” I said.

“That would be mean,” he said as he leaned over to kiss me, finally.

“I’m not a nice person,” I said, my mouth over his.

We made out in silence for a while.

“So, a man-slut?” I said in his ear.

He laughed and pulled away. “I had a lot of irons in the fire when I was newly single,” he explained.

“Oh,” I said, still kissing him. “How many do you have in the fire now?”

“Two,” he said, “including you.”

Huh. That’s when my gut made a little note to take control of my brain. Not yet, though. My heart was still in charge. My gut was going to let me have the night with him. But a coup was afoot.

“I have an overnight bag,” he said. “I could spent the night.”

“Do you want to spend the night?” I asked.

I disclosed the presence of Aunt Irma just in case that affected his decision.

“I would like to sleep with you,” he said.

“Then I would love for you for spend the night.”

We were kissing again, breathing into each other when he said, “You keep saying you’re not nice but I think you’re sweet. Even your breath is sweet. There must be something sweet about you deep inside your core.”

He ran his fingers through my hair and I closed my eyes. I told him how I used to bribe my children to play with my hair. I’d let them stay up late if they brushed my hair, it felt so nice to me.

I put my head on his shoulder as he moved his hand over my temple and through my hair over and over again.

“You’re so relaxed,” he said. “I’ve never seen you so relaxed.”

I had melted into his torso, all my muscles loose, a smile on my lips.

“It’s relaxing for me too.” he said. “I like doing this to you.”

We went to bed. He asked if he could sleep naked. I laughed at him. “I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Pumpkin Patch, who apparently, like me was a bit overweight at some point has worked hard to achieve what is a rather impressive body. It’s not overdone, overly muscular or top heavy. But it’s crafted and nice. And he’s the least self-conscious man I’ve ever met. The first time we had sex, as soon as we were past the I’ve-seen-you-naked stage, he stood in his living room, completely nude, like he was wearing royal garments, a crown on his head. I called it “the stance,” and imitated it for him, later.

We curled up together in my bed, holding each other and kissing more. Then we turned over, his arms around me, his body close to mine and slept. Sometimes I would turn over and put my head in the crook of his arm and run my hands all over his chest and torso and he would let out a pleasing hum, like a cat. It was blissful having him there. I can’t remember feeling so content with someone…..since, well you know who. And his smell. It’s intoxicating to me. It’s almost arousing.

In the middle of the night he woke up with a start. The ambient light from the streetlights made it seem like the sun was rising. When he realized his mistake, he turned over to me and said, “You need to get some curtains.” I pulled him back to bed.

He got up around 4am to go home and shower. I put my hand on his back as he sat at the edge of the bed, putting his shoes on. He turned to me and kissed me ever so tenderly. He kissed me like a man who was in love with me. I stroked his hair and looked at him and smiled.

“Thank you for inviting me over,” he said.

“Thank you for spending time with me,” I said.

I heard my door close behind him.

As I tried to go back to sleep, my gut, my pride, my conscious……rose up inside me and said, “Ok, heart and libido and romantic bullshit…..move over. Hey sadness, come on over here we’re going to need you too. We’re in charge in now. Shut it down.”

I sat up and thought, I can’t do this anymore.




to be continued……




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