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I slide a bit to the left and pat the space beside me.  ”By all means.  History teaches us that it’s the victor’s responsibility to help the defeated recover.”

“Funny,” Jenny assures me.  She adjusts the long folds of her skirt before sitting beside me.  We immediately begin rocking the swing gently.  ”You’re the first person to beat me at Risk in a long time.”

“Ehh, just got lucky,” I respond.  “Game could have gone either way if the dice hadn’t rolled for me.”

“No, seriously, how’d you get so good?”

Ice rings against glass as I sip my scotch somberly.

“Pfft.  Fine, don’t tell me, then.”  She plucks the cigarette out of my hand and takes a long drag, exhaling as she puts her head on my shoulder.  We’d cuddled on numerous occasions, but always in a strictly friendly manner, so I don’t read too much into it.  We sit in silence, the only sounds those of the creak of the swing, ice against glass, and the occasional drone of a june bug kamikaze-ing past our heads.  It’s a comfortable thing, really.

“You’re an interesting guy,” Jenny remarks from my shoulder.

I quirk an eyebrow and glance down at her.  ”Beg pardon?”

I feel more than see her shrug.  ”You’re not the type to play games, that’s all.”

I pause.  ”Meaning…?”

“Meaning, smart guys who play games aren’t supposed to look like you and Hank.”  Normally I would laugh and point out the ridiculousness of her assertion that I am anything but average compared to Hank, but I detect a hint of a slur toward the end of the s-heavy sentence.  I immediately wonder how many of those cola concoctions she’s consumed in the couple of hours since our game ended.  Presumably, the answer is “many”.

“Hank’s really not that smart,” I say wryly.  She punches my thigh, and I grab her hand, not forcefully, but with enough persistence to communicate my intentions.  She wrestles against my grip briefly, then catches on, and slowly laces her fingers with mine.  She turns her head and kisses my shoulder, awkwardly so, enough that I can tell she’s nervous, and likely somewhat inexperienced at flirtation.  I put my arm around her shoulders encouragingly.

Jenny nestles into my side and sighs comfortably.  She rests her cheek in the hollow just beneath my collar.  ”This is nice,” she murmurs.

“It is.”  I run my hand along the bare flesh of her upper arm shoulder, tracing the thin outline of the tank top, and tilt my cheek into her hair.  She smells of tea tree oil and rum.  Not a bad combination.

“Why don’t we do this more often?”

“Because then it wouldn’t be special,” I answer immediately, as I lean my head back against the top of the bench swing.  “As things stand, these moments wherein it’s just you and me, sitting together, with nothing else to worry about, are wonderfully enjoyable.  Do it too often, and your fondness for these moments will fade.”

I feel her head lift a little, as though considering this.  “You think so?”

“Yep.  You have to do these things sparingly to maintain their significance.  Otherwise it becomes rote.  Or you have to up the ante.”

She moves a bit more, sitting up straighter, but still pressed against my torso.  “What do you mean by that?”

“I mean, we will always remember these moments fondly, so long as they don’t happen all the time, or if something else happens to make one night particularly stand out in memory.”

Jenny is silent for a few moments, then she whispers, “Like what?”  Her voice is hesitant, but I can hear tension mixed with excitement.

The devil on my shoulder smiles approvingly.


And that, unfortunately, is where I must leave this story for now.  I’ve written more, but this is such a natural stopping point that I just can’t bring myself to post more of this story here.  Never fear, there will be a concluding third part.

For those interested parties, the reason I have to leave this memory unfinished for the time being is because… and I am loath to say this… I must attend my 30th birthday party.

That’s right, folks.  Bimodal is turning 30 tomorrow, and is none too happy about it.  Don’t be surprised if you see a post about me vs. aging in the near future.

In the meantime, I am going to go defile my body.  I’m talkin’ things that would make Hieronymus Bosch shit his britches.



  1. Oh all right then stop writing and go enjoy your party!

  2. Wow happy birthday to you! Have a great party

  3. Happy birthday, dear Bi! I’ve been sicker than a dog, hence me not seeing this until right this second. Wow… 30. You old fart; might as well hang up your britches now. It only gets better this decade 😉 xx

    • My 30th birthday present to myself: I’m not putting anything processed, fried, or otherwise unhealthy in my mouth for at least 60 days. Clean living, my dear Hyacinth!!

  4. 30 🙂 The BF is turning 30 this year. Anyway my dear I’ve awarded (nominated) you for the Versatile Blogger and Very Inspiring Blogger awards. Check it out and happy birthday!

  5. Happy Birthday bi… And I agree with Hy, so far the 30s aren’t too bad… And by the way, you, bi, are a tease!

    • I am no such thing! I gladly follow through with just about everything I ever suggest! Just, you know… at my own pace. 😉

  6. I’m turning 28 soon and my stomach clenches with fear at the thought of turning 30 in a few years. I’m not sure why either. It’s not old! Why does it freak me out so bad?? Why must I go on vacation for 2 weeks to make myself feel okay about the fact that I’ll be aging? I don’t know.

    Happy birthday. 🙂

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