Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chapter 08- Tickled Pink

Tired of kissing Tristan and Mark sat bare shoulder to bare shoulder in Mark’s dorm room holding hands with their eyelids closed.  It was almost seven o’clock in the morning.  They had no aspirations and the apartment was quiet.
“I love this time of morning when everything is quiet,” Mark said.
“I know it’s like even the most die hard party person has gone to sleep or is too stoned to do anything.”
“Do you feel like sleeping?” Mark asked.
“No, I just want to lie here for a second with my eyes closed.”
“This is nice.”
“Yeah,” Tristan said.  “Do you have to do anything tomorrow?”
“You mean today,” Mark corrected.
“Do you have to do anything today?”
“Just sleep.  You?”
“I have to go home at some point,” Tristan said.
Mark raised up their hands for a moment and tightened his grasp before dropping them back down.
“I’m getting hungry,” Mark said.
“Do you have any food around?”
“Nothing good but I know where there is vending machine if you got a dollar or two.”
“What about going somewhere?”
“No, I hate those kinds of places,” Mark said.
“Okay, we’ll go to the vending machine,” Tristan said, “as soon as I take a nap.”
Mark smiled.
“Take a nap?  You can’t take a nap.”  Mark sat up and turned on Tristan, placed one knee over Tristan’s lap until he was straddling him.  He grabbed at Tristan’s sides, his ribs, and Tristan smiled at the touch.  “Come on let’s go.  Get up.”
Mark tickled Tristan’s skin to little effect then began to move his finger tips as he watched Tristan’s face.  He could tell how effective he was by how Tristan smiled.  He moved them around until almost under Tristan’s armpit when Tristan began to giggle.  Tristan opened his eyelids and held up his hands to Mark’s shoulders.  Mark didn’t stop.  He pursued the feeling as Tristan began to laugh.
“Shh,” Mark said.
“You’re the one tickling me,” Tristan said.  He was surprised by just how ticklish he felt.
“Make me stop,” Mark said.
Tristan pushed against Mark’s body but the attempt was feeble.  
“Come on,” Mark said.  He smiled as Tristan began to quiver at his touch until Tristan’s arms had retracted in an attempt to trap Mark’s hands but he could still feel the end of Tristan’s arm pit.  He let out a loud laugh.  “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Stop it,” Tristan said through laughter.  He rolled onto his side and attempted to maneuver his way from under Mark’s thighs.
“You’re trapped,” Mark said.
Tristan laughed louder.  
“Stop,” Tristan said.  He tried to reach to pull himself away but Mark repositioned himself easily and as Tristan reached he left himself more vulnerable.
“Okay,” Mark said, “do you really want me to stop?”
“No,” Tristan said between giggles.
“Okay,” Mark said as he continued making Tristan giggle.
“Wait,” Tristan said, “wait, seriously, I have to pee.”
Mark stopped and Tristan quieted, rolled onto his back and closed his eyes.
“What’s wrong?”
“I’m trying to not pee myself.”
Mark pushed himself away and stood next to the bed.  Tristan looked to him.
“I have to use the bathroom,” Tristan said.  He pushed himself from the bed and moved to the bedroom door.  
“Wait,” Mark said.  He picked up Tristan’s shirt from the floor and threw to him.
“Right,” Tristan said before he put on his shirt.  He opened the door and stepped from the room into the hallway then turned back and asked where the bathroom was and Mark told him.
Tristan moved down the hallway to the open door and entered then closed the door behind him.  The bathroom was cleaner than he had expected it would be only a little grime in the more difficult areas to clean.  He peed then washed his hands.  He saw himself in the mirror for a second before he exited.  He looked as tired as he felt.  He stepped back to the room and pushed open the door.  Mark was on the edge of the bed putting on his shoes.
“Let’s go get some candy,” Tristan said.  Tristan slid into his shoes then they walked from the dorm back across campus to the vending machines where they purchased a small collection of different snacks and a drink each.
They were cold despite their jackets and clothing as the sun had not fully risen.  They walked out to the campus square and sat on a bench.  It hadn’t snowed in days.
Even with the buildings and trees all around them it was easy to see the sun rise, the slow change from dark skies to gray, then blue.  
“It’s nice to see the sky change color,” Mark said.
“It’s funny, but what looks like a two dimensional image to us, the slow change of the night sky is really much more complex and yet simple.  It’s the earth turning, the sun rays illuminating a formerly dark surface.  We see it as just a change in color but it isn’t.”
“I feel like I could stay up all day,” Mark said.
“Can you drive me home?” Tristan asked.
“Of course,” Mark said.  He stood and they walked to his car.  
Once inside Mark turned on the heater.
“It really is cold out there,” Tristan said.  “It’s funny how you stop feeling things when you are too tired.”
Mark wiped at his face with his hands and shook his head back and forth then took another drink from his cola.  He felt stimulated if not awake.  Tristan turned on his phone and set the GPS guide for his home.
Nearly thirty minutes later they were outside Tristan’s home.  Mark turned off the car and looked across Tristan to the house where he could see the Nativity Scene in the front window.  
“Why aren’t they on your lawn?”
“My mother is afraid that Jesus will be stolen,” Tristan said.
“That’s pretty funny,” Mark said.  “Bad neighborhood?”
“Not really,” Tristan said, “just pranksters.”
Mark sat back and they looked each other in the eye.
“So,” Tristan said.
Mark grimaced at the comment.
“Are we a couple now or do we go on another date?”
“I don’t know,” Mark said.  He thought about his father, his dorm mates, guys from high school and how little they had talked, but he wanted something, he wanted someone.  “Let’s go on another date then see what happens.”
Tristan’s shoulders sunk at the news.  They had spent the night kissing, touching, and he had been tickled on the dorm room bed.  It was second base.
“I just think we should get to know each other more,” Mark said.
“Okay,” Tristan replied.  “I’m too tired to plan anything.  Let’s play it by ear.”
“Okay, let’s play it by ear.  Why don’t you call me and see if we can make another date?  Next time I’ll buy.”
“Okay,” Tristan said.  It didn’t feel right, somehow things were breaking apart, they were farther from each other than before they had kissed, as if two magnet poles trying to repel each other.  Tristan opened the car door and got out.  
Mark felt the repulsion as well as if they had tricked themselves, each other, their night together hadn’t been real.  He wanted to do something to hold onto the moment, to hold onto Tristan.
“Wait,” Mark said, “let’s go out again next Friday.”
Tristan leaned down into the car.
“Really?” he asked.
Mark moved across the bench seat and took Tristan’s face in his hand then kissed him on the lips.  Tristan kissed back.  Their connection was healed in a moment then they pulled apart.
Tristan smiled, grinned, back at Mark and stepped away from the car and closed the door.  Mark smiled back as he slid across the seat and started the car then began to drive away.  
Tristan watched Mark drive away.  He took his hand from his pocket and waved.