Vintage Attraction

Free Vintage Attraction by Charles Blackstone

Book: Vintage Attraction by Charles Blackstone Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charles Blackstone
Tags: Romance
do they really think the other person is going to, like, drop everything and fall for them?”
    â€œI sometimes wonder if they even really expect that,” I said. “It could just be more like leaving notes for god at the Wailing Wall. You know, in Jerusalem? There are all these little scraps of paper stuck in the cracks, requests in a billion languages, for who knows how many different conceptions of god, to cure an aunt’s cancer or find a kidney for the second cousin, twice removed. I mean, I’m sure they’d like it to work, but nobody could really expect it to.”
    We sat close on our neighboring barstools, leaning in, our legs angled toward each other’s. “I’m actually kind of shocked nobody’s posted one for me. I feel completely left out,” she said then.
    â€œThis,” I said, “is a problem. Perhaps you’ve not been reading as closely as you should.”
    â€œPerhaps,” she said.
    I rarely stayed out this late, ate this much, drank this much on weeknights—or any nights. Accordingly, my muscles ached and my head pulsed as we walked a sobering, windswept walk down Halsted and back to my lot at UIC on Harrison. I was grateful the Mustang started after a few panicking hesitations on the second level of the mostly empty concrete parking structure. Izzy didn’t object to a kiss from me before she climbed the stairs to her apartment. I missed her instantly. I hated to see her go, didn’t want us to be apart, and was glad she hadn’t refused my offer to take her home so that I could extend our impromptu date another fifteen minutes. Driving to my place in Humboldt Park, my feet were cinder blocks against the clutch and the accelerator, and my shifting was inelegant. Once in the apartment, however, I couldn’t sleep.
    It was at insomniac times like these that I usually pulled out the Rhodia and sketched a concept or two, but on this occasion, it was a monologue of sorts I wrought. I sat at my little kitchen table, hovering over a legal pad. Even though I was exhausted, all that transpired tonight—finally being freed from Talia’s spell; sharing, unencumbered, the port with Izzy—had energized me. My sentences blazed. At four thirty in the morning, I had a draft. I continued to edit as I plugged the text into the Craigslist form from my office Mac Performa on campus the next morning before submitting. I entered the URL the automatic responder sent a moment later, and read my Missed Connections post, entitled “Because it was Monday night at The Tasting Room—m4w”:
    I’d never in the five minutes I’d known you seen you looking so amplified, and the fact that I wasn’t the one making you glow tore me into impossible shreds. I tried to ignore your date, the young artist—postmodern restaurateur maybe, or was he an indie film actor?—a cross between Jeff Goldblum and F. Scott Fitzgerald, with returned-to-vogue chunky Woody Allenish glasses, sagaciously—or slovenly—cantilevered, because I was immensely jealous. I could tell by the way he held your gaze that he was a formidable opponent.
    The way he felt about you was apparent in irrefutable, unimpeachable physiognomy as you made your way out. Your date stood a little straighter, his hair free to cascade whichever way it wanted, his chin stronger, more sure of itself. It was as though his entire picture had been retouched. His smile grinned larger, his ardor more ardent. I think his blazer even fit a little better. How did you do it? How did you manage to change him? After you departed, I needed to grab something, to still myself, but there was nothing I could reach; it was all too far from me. I stood from my little table and found everything inside me had shifted, moved, reorganized. Things had been bought, sold, an internal organ garage sale. I had a heart shard, a lung cross section, and a kidney encased in glass, but most disconcerting

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