Holding Pattern

I can turn wine into weakness faster than Jesus turned water into wine. Which is what I am doing tonight.

A night where we sit on the patio, dabbing our pulse points with vanilla extract. It’s supposed to repel mosquitoes. It makes us smell like cupcakes.

Everyone is husband and wife, or boyfriend and girlfriend. Two candles on a mantel, glowing with the relief that at least they aren’t alone. Everyone except me, the one burning at both ends.

This incites a brief debate in my mind about whether to have a second glass of wine. Against: some nice 89 year old with Alzheimer’s. For: a horny Harvard senior with a high IQ. It is a merciful victory. A third glass is poured in celebration.

“I’m so glad you have one another,” I address a candle set, “But I don’t think God wants that for me.”

I’m beginning to resemble Bobby in Company so I walk away. I scroll through my cell phone book. I collect lint from my navel like cotton candy out of a machine. I select someone. I drill for more lint. I text:

“So mysterious and sufficient is the love of God. And yet, some nights I just want someone to hold me.”

It’s a miracle my phone doesn’t throw up after eating that shit.

The next morning, as I undress to shower, there is a gleam of encrusted blood in my navel. Gingerly I clean with Q-tips, who, in their soft sterility, imply I should have employed them to do this job at the start.

When I turn my phone back on, it groans, remembering what it did last night. Pause. Then it receives a text message:

“If you were my son, I would hold you.”