He sat in the back of a noisy airport bar drinking a beer and watching the people walk by.
It had been a month of way too much travel and more commotion than he would have liked.
Harried travelers surrounded him and he wondered how many were self-medicating before being jammed into one of those flying metal tubes.
Maybe they hoped a nice buzz would keep them from somehow being forcibly removed from the plane.
There really shouldn’t be any correlation between the two but moments in life often lacked relevance and logical order.
He tilted his head and bottle back and thought about whether it would be smarter to buy another or call it a day.
Over to his right a man who definitely hadn’t figured out when to say when was singing along to Call Me Maybe.
The sight made him snort and got him thinking about the girl who hadn’t called him.
Of course he hadn’t called her either, but he was fairly certain he was going to make her call him first.
The thought made him laugh because they were far too old for this kind of game but at their core they were just a boy and a girl who had fallen so deeply in love it was hard to see straight.
Truth was he was certain she still loved him but he couldn’t say that she was still in love with him. She had told him she wasn’t a couple of times before and then things had happened that made her confess she still was.
He had responded in kind at least once.
“I don’t love you either and I faked every orgasm.”
He didn’t really remember if she had believed him but he figured she probably didn’t.
The drunk with the beer bottle microphone had decided to change the lyrics to Sleep With Me Maybe and was freestyling now but thanks to the magic of alcohol it was getting hard to understand what the new lyrics were.
“You know that is the kind of thing that makes women swoon. I bet your friend gets laid tonight.”
She was dressed in a denim skirt and a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt.
He almost asked her if she realized she had failed Goth costume class but didn’t because he didn’t feel like talking.
“It is rude to ignore people.”
That was enough to draw him out and he told her he wasn’t cool enough to talk and had no witty banter to share.
“That is too bad. You look like you might have a brain.”
“Got no brain and got no heart.”
“She really fucked you up, didn’t she.”
“I didn’t say anything about a woman.”
“You didn’t have to.”
“She didn’t fuck me up. There is no woman and I am just another tired traveler.”
“You are a bad liar and she fucked you up.”
“How do you know she isn’t fucked up about me too?”
“I knew you were lying about her.”
“I didn’t lie. My heart was torn out years ago and that shit doesn’t grow back. It is why I am unfiltered and mean.”
“You don’t look so mean to me.”
“That is part of what makes me so nasty, you’d never expect it.”
“That is not true, I can see the asshole in you.”
“I don’t know whether to say thank you or fuck you very much.”
She laughed and asked me to buy her a beer.
He said she should find another sucker, grabbed his backpack and walked away.
“You suck. You really are an asshole.”
He turned and glared, “don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I am angry.”
This time she laughed, “ok hulk man, go find a new town to crash in.”
Ten minutes later he sat on the floor in the terminal and listened to a random mix of music.
Carole King was singing Will You Love Me Tomorrow and he was lost in thoughts about a past that would forever remain ensconced in memory and questions about the future he was heading back into.
“This is a hell of a song to come on now, but not as cheesy as Leaving On A Jetplane would be,” he thought.
He didn’t know the history of the song but he figured thinking about potential answers would be an interesting way to pass some of the three hours he had to fill.
It really didn’t make sense for it to be about a one night stand or a brief encounter so it had to be about people who had a relationship.
Could be about friends who were choosing to cross the line between friendship and more or it could be about existing lovers who were having problems.
He didn’t believe that all loves were meant to last but he was certain that some had the ability to go the distance.
That was really his central hang up with the girl who didn’t call anymore. He didn’t believe she had stopped loving him or that she had really fallen out of love with him.
He thought it was possible she had convinced herself those things were true because it made some things easier, but he didn’t buy it.
It was possible he was wrong, but he wasn’t planning on having a conversation about it.
But if he changed his mind he figured he could follow the lead of the drunk and sing to her.
Obviously he’d use the new lyrics and croon “sleep with me maybe.”
Yeah, that would be the thing that made her run for his bed. Of course he could always reach out and tell her he wasn’t sure he was willing to sleep with her and see what sort of response that would create.
Of course she would probably remember when he had turned down her advances and said no.
She had tried that much harder to seduce him. Eventually he gave in and she figured out he had been messing with her.
They had laughed about it, hell they had laughed about a lot of things.
The silence now was palpable and he couldn’t help but wonder if that was temporary for forever.
Life was filled with so many unexpected twist and turns. You never knew if another random event would change things.
Many hours later he parked his car, walked up three flights of stairs into an empty place and thought about how easy it would be to picture her there.
Would she ever see it?
Maybe yes and maybe no.
Never could tell.
As he drifted off to sleep he caught himself singing Sleep with me maybe and chuckled his way into vivid dreams he couldn’t remember when he woke up.