And he said, so I will call you at exactly 12:41 and you’ll answer and say you’re here and I’ll drive up sweep round and be waiting there to whisk you away and we’ll go drive around the town and see things, turning our necks and faces skywards to look at the tops of buildings wondering about the birds flying up there and then downwards to spot and point out laughing at all the reflections in the passing river waters, then we’ll jump out go smoke in the cold sharing gloves and chalk the pavements with our footsteps and let the sounds of our music drift behind us as we run and we bop up and down quiet winter streets and roll around in wet and dog-muddy parks, then we’ll drink fresh made lemonades in old torn leather booths waiting for big sandwiches with our feet up on the cracks and elbows on the tops of tables pulling us together for talking and we discuss all things over shared chocolate cake before I think of kissing you and your open mouth because you look so pretty right now and I take a photograph.
And he said, because you remind me of rainbows in the evening skies and milky cold bowls of cornflakes followed by hot oatmeal toast dripping butter and country jam, because you remind me of silent birds and my favourite ripped up sneakers and all the classic novels on my bedroom shelves and listening to Elliot Smith songs at two in the morning sharing headphones when everyone else is asleep, because you remind me of winter coats with thick metal poppers and raindrops dripping down the window pane and clean teeth and Googling your own name when there is nothing better to do, because you remind me of patio parties and roller coasters and long walks through a black and white cemetery on New Year’s Day, because you remind me of crayons and paint and clouds and words with six syllables and snowflakes and handstands and fruit juice straight from the carton and meerkats, because you remind me of all these things and all I want is to spend time with you and make up new stories to tell.
And he said, so finish your Japanese rice tea and I’ll finish my earl grey and pack up your pencils and sketch pad with all the delicate grey faces of drinkers with their coffees and newspapers and the tea house romances drawn in smudges and ink and now take my hand and come with me I want to show you the tower in the park with the duck pond all iced over and the hanging green vines and flowers closed for winter and these are all the steps count them with me but don’t trip up and look wow see the view isn’t it beautiful, that’s the opera house down there and see that man walking his dog doesn’t he look angry and the famous old boat bobbing in the famous old river and all the painted houses on the hill do you think the people living there are looking out at us thinking we’re crazy, and this reminds me of a song but I can’t remember which one and look that’s my house all the way over there on the other side of the valley but see now its getting dark the sun is almost out and we should go.
And he said, lets go see a movie and lets watch the children bowling in the lanes and lets buy pizza and lets take photographs with your heavy old camera, of yellow bridges at night fall and walkways strewn with plastic bags and rubbish and graffiti on warehouse doorways and lets hold hands and kiss in our favourite place and lets sleep all morning and ignore our phones and lets discuss sadness for hours over chopsticks and tiger beer and lets fuck with our eyes closed and lets meet on the corner of Marsh and Baldwin to go and get drunk in bars and smoke cigarettes as we make up stories for our friends about the time we met in this very spot and I pinched your bum and lets learn things, like six-stringed acoustic guitar or juggling or something and lets agree never to go on holiday together and lets eat falafel if you want to with wholemeal pita bread and chilli sauce and a bottle of water while we sit on the wet benches by the riverside and talk about all the homeless of this city who play the guitar for drug money and lets just do everything that we can.
And he said, because you make me want to look out over the night time city with all the high rise lights on and the trains passing through and the river heavy and full and realize just how beautiful it is from up here on the hill, because you make me want to smile and be happier, because you make me want to live more and be one of the ‘mad ones’ Jack always talks about, because you make me want to explore and take risks and talk dirty, because you make me want to be demanding, because you make me want to quit and jump ship from this terrible life I’ve made for myself and just go somewhere anywhere, because you make me want to stay up all night and write and you make me want to read to you from all the books I have, because you make me want to drive two hours just to see you, just to say hello, because you make me want to do all those things I find difficult, like talking to strangers, because you make me want to meet your parents, because you make me want to push these two old sofas together and curl up in front of a Norwegian movie with strawberry yoghurt and grapes and you because I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do right now and most of all because you make me want to be a better man.
And he said, look at the clock, it’s almost twelve and the band is still playing a wild raucous hootenanny of trumpets sax and banjo and everyone is happy and dancing, it’s almost twelve and we’ve talked and smoked and pretended to argue, it’s almost twelve and we’ve eaten all the Mediterranean food we can, it’s almost twelve and it’s your turn to buy the drinks, it’s almost twelve and I can still remember the first time I talked to you and the first time we met and the first time we made love, it’s almost twelve and did I tell you yet that you look beautiful tonight with your hair all curled and your eyes rimmed in black and your wrist watch that doesn’t work and your puff skirt and your sexy dance moves, it’s almost twelve and I could watch you for hours, and look at the clock, it’s almost twelve and it’s almost midnight and I want to take you in my arms and kiss you until you tell me to stop.