“Ahh! get tha fuck away from me!”
Laying on my back in the wet muddy grass, I momentarily forget about the suffocating New York City heat. My mind is completely consumed by the rich blueness of the sky. The rich midnight blue of the sky is so vastly consuming. I never expect the sky to look so blue at this time of night. But in fact, this is the bluest that I have ever seen the sky, the beauty of the color exacerbated by the sprinkling of snow-white stars. Maybe they’re actually clear, I think to myself as I swat a mosquito away from my nose. Maybe my mind is unable to comprehend their transparency. Of course, no one can actually see the stars in New York City – but I like to pretend. In my head I can see them as I lay beneath the ominous glow of streetlamps. There are thousands of them, millions and billions. I feel their presence.
The more I stare at the barren sky, the more the presence of the stars begin to bother me. Their constant beaming presence makes me so nervous, makes me sweat harder than I already am in the humid summer air. They know me. Las estrellas me saben. Those fucking things are watching me. I feel myself spiraling, slipping into hazy thoughts of the metaphysical. I feel my mouth go dry, like someone is trying to stuff cotton balls down my throat. All the spit from my mouth is forming in pools under my arms and around my neck, in the space between my back and the dirt. Is it possible to drown in your sweat? The thought makes me sweat more.
Maybe smoking in the heat is a bad idea.
I try to anchor myself in reality again, I try to bring myself away from the stars. I roll over onto my stomach, so I don’t have to look at them any more. Jason lays still next to me. Although the darkness has obscured my vision, I know that Jason’s eyes are glassy. His pupils are probably the size of saucers, I think to myself as I pluck a piece of wet grass off of my arm. I lay on my stomach staring at him, a stare empty of intentions. I am so amazed by the energy that he emits. It’s the energy of an artist, the energy of knowledge, the energy of someone that I can only hope to be one day.
“Jason,” I say as I give him a quick tap on the head.
He doesn’t budge.
“Jason.” I tap harder.
“Yeah,” he responds.
“Can girls get their periods in space?
He slowly turns his head towards me. His straight black hair slides on the wet green grass. “What?” he says. His eyes are empty when he looks at me. I never see anything in them, not even my own reflection.
“I’m asking ‘cause like, Ion’t know how that would work. Since there’s no gravity does the period shit even still come out? Or like, would God just gimme a pass for a month?”
Jason stares at me.
I hear a buzzing in my ear. I slap my hand against my head to get the mosquito away from me.
“Do they, Jason?”
I try to anchor myself in reality again, I try to bring myself away from the stars. I roll over onto my stomach, so I don’t have to look at them any more.
A frown begins to grow on his face. It annoys him when I say his name often. But I can’t help myself; I’m always saying his name. I love the way the words feel in my mouth, the way each individual letter tastes on my tongue. Jason’s name is so sexy to me, so savory.
“You’re a moron,” he says as he continues to stare. I wonder what he sees as he’s staring at me. I hope that he doesn’t see the sweat pouring out of me, staining my pale pink top, the frilly one with the spaghetti straps. The one that he likes the most.
The exchange between our eyes is peaceful, the most peace I’ve ever experienced with him in our year and a half of being together. As Jason stares at me I feel the wetness from the grass seep in through the shirt. It feels so cool against my skin.
Staring at him, I start to remember the way he was nestled in between my legs only a few minutes before. I remember the strength of his hands as they gripped my thighs and the way he stared at me – like he was hungry and I was steak. The longer I look at him, the more I remember the feel of him, and I suddenly can’t control the clenching of my muscles.
“You still haven’t answered me,” I say as I reach out my hand to touch his face.
He turns his head back to the vast dark sky.
“I don’t answer stupid questions.”
I turn away from him and rest my forehead on my arms, letting my nose press against the dirt. Jason says that I’m sensitive, that I let things bother me too quickly. But I have to be. I have to be sensitive for the both of us – If it wasn’t for me, I’m sure that Jason wouldn’t feel anything at all. I hear him chuckle softly. “Jesus,” he says to me, “would you just lighten up?”
I don’t know why I put up with his shit.
I jump up abruptly, brushing extra pieces of grass off of my shirt. I feel dizzy but I shake it off because I have to, I have to let Jason know that I can be as strong as him. I look down at the green stain on my shirt and allow it to fuel the bubbling of anger I feel in my chest. I kick Jason in the side harder than I should.
“Take me to the bus-stop.”
He grins widely. Not at me though – only at the clear white stars.
“Jason, you think this is a fucking game?” the emptiness of the park makes the sound of my voice stretch. I hate how shrill it sounds.
I’m sweating harder as I kick Jason again, as hard as I can with my child-sized foot. “Take me there now, I want to go now, you fu–” As I lift my leg to kick him again, he grabs me before I can pull back and yanks my leg hard, causing me to fall on top of him. He rolls over on top of me, and presses my body into the dirt.
I’m so embarrassed. I don’t want the stars to see this.
Jason places his large hands on either side of my head, and squeezes.
“I’m not talking you anywhere,” he whispers, his face an inch away from mine. His breath feels like fire on my nose, it smells like dirt and Coca-Cola. I feel the sweat at my temples loosen his grip.
I shake my head hard, but that only makes it hurt worse. Jason looks at me as I try in vain to shake his hands off of me. He loves to make this face on me, this “mush-face.” He takes great pride in contorting my body to fit his wishes.