limes_sprigs_and_everything_green Someone like you, but not you.


I sat in my new hotel room in Copenhagen listening to Someone Like You by Van Morrison. It was my song with one of my exes.  The song was completely incongruent with the tone of our relationship, but then, songs aren’t so much about what you have, as what you would like to have.  Grace and I always joked about that song when it came on.  We would add, “but not you,” after the chorus and then we would laugh, though it felt more like crying.


I’ve often tried to find girls who would fit into my favorite songs.  In Denmark I was hunting for anything Alanis Morissette.  I got lucky with the whole album.


I stood at a bar and ordered a beer.  Jean was seated near me wondering when tourist season would be over.  Although, she decided I wasn’t bad for an American. I had dimples in my cheeks that softened my obvious predatory nature.  My eyes were clear and sparkly, the sign of a good diet, thought Jean.


I never considered someone might give me the once over before I noticed her first.  Nah, I was too cocky for that notion.  Short thick tufts of black hair sprouted from Jeans little boy head.  She was a hotty alright-y.  Deep dark dangerous blue eyes like the ocean off the continental shelf.  And that slight scar slicing through her eyebrow tore me open before it ran me through.  Jean was a human stun gun.  Electric zap.  I steadied myself. This will take work, I thought.


“Can I hang and talk to you?”  I said, wondering if for once a direct approach might work.

“So talk.” said Jean.  She maintained the kind of flat affect that had chick’s rapelling down each other to get a foothold in her crevasse.  It took me an hour to get a laugh outta Jean, but the first one melted us both into a Danish fish stew.  We would be going to bed together.  Although I wasn’t the one was privy to that inevitability.


“Should we push the beds together?”  Jean asked at my hotel room.  That was her first clue that eluded me. I was not the type to follow breadcrumbs. I wouldn’t even think to look down.


We pushed the beds together and abused the floor instead. Fucking on a floor is immediate.  If we could have gotten lower than the floor, we would have.  You know you’re lost in someone when you think a floor is comfortable.  It was a festival of pleasure that had a microcosm of eternity coded into each movement.  We stopped only to order room service.


One the second day it rained.  I blasted music so loudly that the management asked us to turn it down.  Of course, I had brought my self-amplified, scaled down stereo system to Scandinavia. I knew music makes it easier to sleep with strangers.  I hadn’t predicted music could help me fall in love.


“Tell me a story.”  Jean demanded, without seeming demanding.  What was it about me that had girls pegging me as a raconteur?  I’ve never been able to get naked with any girl who didn’t eventually ask me to tell her a tale.  Perhaps that’s a sign that I stay in bed too long.


“Do you see that office building just across the park?”  I asked.  Jean peered out the window and nodded, ready to be transported.  “The woman on the fourth floor, with the telescope beside her desk, her name is Anna. She is in love with you.  Anna discovered you innocently one evening while staying late at work.  She heard your music bouncing across the raindrops. She bought the telescope to view exotic birds in the park.  She couldn’t resist being drawn to the eyepiece, and looking in on you.  You were with your lover that day, standing nude as she slid down your back. Anna had never seen such beautiful birds.  She watched you for hours.  Her eyes ached but she couldn’t pull away.  She came to work early, and left late, just to see more of you.  She saw you often, but never again with that lover.  You were always alone, dancing slowly with your arms wrapped tightly around yourself.  Or seated on the windowsill watching the storm. She thought she saw you crying, but she couldn’t be sure if it was tears or rain.”


“Two weeks went by and the weather cleared.  Anna had to see you in person.  She waited until your stereo was clearly audible in her office and approached your room under the guise of being irate management.  She stood outside the door for a while before knocking.  You answered kindly. Perhaps you yearned for contact no matter how slight.  Anna’s speech stammered when requesting you lower the volume.  You recognized her as the voyeur from the neighboring building and invited her inside.  She had kept you company through the loss of your lover.  She had cared for you even though she didn’t know you knew.  Together you looked out the window at her empty office and drew the shades.”

“That was a beautiful story,” Jean said.

“It actually made me jealous.” I said.  “Is this what will happen when I go away?  Is she watching us now?”

We both sat staring quietly out the window.   We already missed each other.


Before we said goodbye for the last time, Jean wondered aloud how we managed to fall in love in only two weeks.

It’s easy to fall in love with someone like you, I thought to myself, someone exactly like you.

I flew back to the States and kept telling myself it was okay to love someone who lived far away.  I reminded myself daily.