In a Hotel Room

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The air in the ambient is somber, cold, and her flight will depart in a few hours. It is not the first time she connects with a stranger that way, in the airport. This time, however, the man is like her brother, and the thought disturbs her. Instead, she chooses to consider him an agreeable person with extreme curiosity.

“I see figures in the sky. Right now, an opened door, a star hinge.”
She doesn’t see the sky from where she is, feeling, instead, the weight of her hair against the pillow. The hotel is average, with soft linen against her skin, gentle, well ironed. She sits at the edge of the bed and looks at her toenails. They’re red. She feels wet inside. Strange, to have desire at that moment. Out of place, of purpose. Does she need to say anything?

“Do you see drawings in the sky? I see drawings everywhere. I want to draw you,” he says, writing something on a piece of napkin. Minutes later, he lets go of the pencil and grabs her by the waist.

“There is something about your body and the endless pimples in your skin that makes me thing about the stars in the sky. Maybe that’s why I need to touch you all the time, a desire to understand what is beyond our reach. Hey, I’m talking to you. Do you understand what I mean?”

You’re a very anxious man, she thinks, observing his need to talk between sexual intercourse. She doesn’t understand why. Love, for her, is a fantasy to be imagined, not verbalized.

The man penetrates her quickly and she gives in easily. Something escapes her, unknown and within, a need to get rid of. However, in the end, he seems pleased.

“What do you do?”, he asks. “From your walk at the airport, posture in the lounge bar, I can bet you are a fashion designer. Am I right?” He asks, flipping through a menu. “Can we have breakfast?”

He is caressing her feet, sitting on the edge of the bed, as if to please her. Her skin is soft, and she is afraid of having lost something inside this man. Intimacy is bothersome. The vastness of his chest brings her childhood memories she wants to forget, her brother, and others after him. But it’s only a beat. It’s always like so.

Outside, the day is about to rise. His back is large, reflected against the mirror, the sky in the background. On the bedside table, the napkin drawing, a door made of stars, stretched over a woman’s body. She tries to project herself onto that image, recalling his words. “I want to picture you in a piece of paper. Your body is my pause. Is there something you need me to know? Why don’t you ever say anything?”

The woman recognizes his attempt to communicate. They were in Paris, but she didn’t know the name of the street, the neighborhood, or the region. Facing the hotel balcony, she touches the white curtain, transparent, that hides the river that seems to extend through the city. She won’t have breakfast with him.

Even if she wanted, she wouldn’t know what to say. So, she changes her clothes and leaves the room by herself.

Short Fiction published in The Hamilton Stone Review.