Future Bohemic Boyfriend
I know you are out there, spinning so free in the universe, just waiting for the day I’ll ride into your life on my 1984 Shwinn World Sport fixie with the retro pink and white lettering. I’ll braid my hair loose like a mermaid and wear a Che Guevara T shirt even though I spent years thinking he was the lead singer of Rage Against the Machine. But, you won’t care, future try-hard-boyfriend. Because, you couldn’t find Cuba with google maps and a prayer.
When I meet you, you’ll be in your late 20s/early 30s. You’ll be sporting a full lumberjack beard but dress like you are auditioning for an episode of Happy Days. You’ll have a neon green Vespa LX 150 scooter that you’ll ride to your job as a barista at the local non-corporate coffee shop, Counter Culture.
“Four-stroke single overhead camshaft!” you’ll say.
“Automatic torque slave transmission,” you’ll say.
“Come over here,” I’ll say.
You will be good with your hands. A grease monkey underneath it all just like my Dad was. Your fingernails will always be rimmed in engine oil and dirt, even when you scrub them clean. You’ll carry that roasted smell of freshly ground coffee beans in your shaggy brown hair. Sometimes, I’ll think if you would just shake your head like a dog, beans could fly out onto the floor.
On the weekends, you’ll be a drummer in a post-post modern Band of Horses cover band. People will flock to you, eager for that nearness of you. You’ll know the difference between essential and non-essential hygiene and even though you’ll have no political or religious objection to antiperspirant, you won’t bother using it. I won’t notice this at first, because we’ll meet in the Autumn, just as the leaves start to turn orange and red and the nights have a slick coolness about them.
You’ll have a slightly crooked front tooth, cocked to the side like a swinging door. I’ll feel it with my tongue every time I kiss you. On our first date, we’ll meet up in a parking lot and share a PBR and a Parliment. I’ll get chilly so you’ll lend me your gray fitted hoodie. It will almost be too small but I’ll squeeze it around me, stretching it tight against my chest. I’ll run the zipper up to my mouth and suckle the metal pull tab. I’ll love you that quick.
I’ll start spending my nights at yours. We’ll stay up late, listening to Elephant 6 and Neutral Milk Hotel on vinyl. People will begin to expect us at all the wrong-for-the-right-reasons shows in Cobble Hill. You’ll get jealous when I get friendly with that noise scene musician we’ll meet outside Derby’s but I’ll only be friendly with him because he’ll know my room mate’s sister. His music will be marginal, squawking baby toys spun against radio transmission wave noise. It will be borderline in all the right ways, even if we can’t stand to listen to it for long. You and I will make up over a couple of gin and tonics, leave the noise behind and head home. As you slide into me that night, your weight pressed down on my hips like a clamp, I’ll smile up at you and think of him.
You’ll hate my room mate. She’ll hate you even more. We’ll start to argue about what to do when your lease is up. You’ll barely be able to afford your little one man pup-efficiency in Bushwick. So, we’ll start to talk about getting our own place together, someplace that belongs to you and me and no one else.
“Williamsbug,” I’ll say.
“Metro North Railroad,” you’ll say. You’ll have this need to track your life like a hobo on the side of a freight train as the ground conveys passed your heels. I’ll narrow my eyes in confusion. “Hastings-on-Hudson,” you’ll say. “The city’s been over run. We need someplace new. Someplace a man can get a real job.” All I can think is, “What the hell would we do in Westchester?” But you’ll fucking love it, all that roving hipsturbia and I’ll begin to tick off the moments, rolling my eyes and sighing, until you lose interest.
You’ll get fired from Counter Culture because of a pissy missive you’ll blog, decrying all the wrong ways customers order coffee. “They don’t even fucking know what a Machiato is!” you’ll cry out, throwing a spoon into the sink. It will clatter against my nerves and I’ll hope I hid my Starbucks cup far enough into the trash can so you’ll never see.
We’ll start to plan a community garden that we’ll never build. You’ll get a job at the local co-op. You’ll start dreading your hair, just two long tufts at the base of your skull. I’ll have dreams of running past you with scissors, cutting that gnarled bark of hair from your head. You’ll forgive me for throwing out your ratty black Bel Biv Devoe Tshirt – you’ll leave it at my place and I’ll think its a rag because of the threadbare holes in the back. We’ll sit outside on the front stoop and you’ll feed me beautiful fresh cherries in the Spring. I’ll spit the pits back out into your hand.
I’ll get pregnant and miscarry and never tell you, blood as ripe as those cherries, that fragile pit lost forever as I cry on the toilet.
I’ll fall deep into a hole, so deep that I won’t be able to see your face peering down at me. You’ll get confused and with the confusion, you’ll start to get a little mean. I’ll start to get a lot distant.
“You’re a shitty musician,” I’ll say.
“I can’t STAND you right now,” I’ll say.
“Trendslut,” you’ll say.
After a while, you’ll stop peering down into my hole and I’ll stop looking up.
It will take us a long time, too long, really, to admit it will be too late for us. You’ll send me a text, maybe. Or, I’ll get one of your co-workers at the co-op to pass along the message. But, we’ll close that door and I know you’ll be out there, spinning around and away. I’ll eventually find my way out to Hastings-on-Hudson – housing will be so much more affordable in the sprawl. And, I’ll think of you, of your battered Doc Martins hanging out over the rusted rails, every time I take the 9:06 into Grand Central.
Brianne M. Kohl is a fiction writer who has lived all over the United States but currently resides in Chatham County, North Carolina. Her work has been published in Black Heart Magazine, Ohio Edit, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Corner Club Press and in ‘In the Hardship and the Hoping: Poems of Northeast Ohio by JB Solomon Editions. She was the best fiction recipient from Bop Dead City’s 2013 Summer Fiction Contest. Her work and musings can also be found at http://www.briannekohl.com.