SBX told me "no" in that way that suggested "Cut it out and stop fooling around, weirdo. We both know you don't own a Zorro mask and we need to get to business - PRONTO!"
Pronto would be 15-minutes away as I washed my hands and face with Irish Spring and brushed my teeth with Colgate. Carried my silver steed 3-flights down the steps. The weight from the cumbersome bike didn't matter because the weight from shoulders would be lifted, very soon. Rode down empty Carroll streets and watched all the tv lights flicker in that Kerouac kinda way. Imagining couples huddled together watching lame sit-coms vs. reality tv, stalling the inevitable love making to commence as soon as the credits rolled, or, for the Casanova's in the 'hood, Little Miss Something was gonna miss the 'who-dunnit' by commercial number three.
Stepped up the peddle as I careened down 2nd street, making my way passed happy couples exiting F-train subway stations and the occasional loner trolling for something warm, or at least bubbly. Kept my eye on the prize as I sallied forth, escaping red light warnings and shattered sedan glass in my path. There was only going to be one stop and that was on 14th street between 6th & 7th.
Unlocked the basement door with my golden key, the very key I had earned a few months earlier. A key that allowed me into a palace where respite and recreation were a promise and not just a figment. There she was, through the glass door, a bouillabaisse of beauty, sitting propped up on the side of the bathtub, legs spread and one knee up, clipping her toenails. SBX glanced at the noise I had made, turning the locked door and smiled.
After tying up my trusty steel companion outside, SBX returned to groom her delicate feet as I let go of my body and lay into the couch in the tv room adjacent to the bathroom. My body began to ache as I let go of the belts and torques that held my muscles taught. Experiencing the pain of angst and tension release into an avalanche of aches and stings. Wishing that the downstairs guest room to the left of the couch were dark, lit only by the yellow flickers of candle light. Tucking the romantic suggestion away in my mind so as to realize this tender notion for a latter date, I laid willing. Waiting. Hushing my impetus to steer, and instead, let SBX rule the channels.
And then things slipped in smudge. Such a tiny smear of smudge. I let the honesty of a crap day at the art table rear it's ugly head. Let the candidness of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise disturb our harmony. Crush our groove. Rather than stifling the urge to "be real," I should have flown off the couch and grabbed SBX's waist -- sucking her face in with mine before domestic words could be uttered. Bury the beast of a bad day. Alas, nay. Tentacles spread beyond antennas and guts churned. Chum attracted monsters and let loose the dogs of war.
And there we stood. Arguing over the regime of a good diet, proper health, and daily excercise. All things good. Nothing to argue. Agreed. Over and out. On to the next. And then the show stopper: "How are you supposed to take care of me if you can't take care of yourself?"
Could I stand on a leg? How about a bloody stump?
SBX was right. She's often right. And this is what challenges my life, day in and day out. She's not a 25-year old Russian girl with big bouncing boobs and the verve to dance at Black Betty until 4AM, starting fights with hip-hop punks, and begging for dumplings at Wo Hops. Which is what I have known. Instead, SBX is a mother who wakes up at 6AM to bathe, feed, clothe, prepare, and walk her two daughters to school before praying that the train will get her to work by 8:30AM, so she can jump through corporate hoops at a company that won't allow her a half-hour AWAY from her desk so she can eat. Yes, that is my SBX. A responsible woman who has sacrificed her mid-20s and 30s to be a mother, rather than the sexy, hot, 6-foot tall Valkyrie that lurks inside, begging to be let out on a Friday night...and can't.
And there I am, fighting with her over the semantics of good health, watching as the seconds tick by and 9PM turns into 10:30PM, and I'm looking straight back at that glass door, heading outside towards my trusty bike, resolving with her, arms held around each other, to NEVER spend another moment like this. Resigned to the fact that we won't be seeing each other until Saturday night, as we hush goodbye. Don't...want...to...wake...the...kids.
Kicking myself -- "Why did I let this happen? Again! Why couldn't one of us have been better?" I walk my bike away, not having the strength to peddle, as I turn the street corner and stare up at the white punching bag in the black sky. Swinging at it with my useless fists. Wanting desperately to smash it's mocking glow. The glow that lights lover's paths.
And then I look up and watch a man in a suit stumble drunk to his car and ignite his engine and gun his gas, speeding off to his sleeping wife, wondering how many people he will kill tonite. And, rather than save his life, I put mine into a glass of alcohol and sit by myself at a bar I never intended to step into. Not while my SBX lies in bed alone.