fourteen instead of thirteen – 1/1/14

1/1/14 12:17pm – 1/1/14 1:24pm

fourteen instead of thirteen
(take his ticket as a sign)
(cherry flavor on top iii)

i woke to my first morning of the new year in my close friend’s abroad sister’s vacant bedroom. it was there on her neglected pillow
that i’d instantly fallen asleep after hitting. after i’d been unwilling and unable to make the drive home.
after the transition from new years eve to new years day was completed. after our big production which amounted to a celebration of dating
documents fourteen instead of thirteen was proved a huge success.
after all that somehow i eagerly hopped out of bed with a spring in my step, headed straight to their hallway bathroom, ran the water for an early first shower of the year, and tuned their radio to a classical
music station. which took a while to dial in, but was well worth the wait and wasted water when i finally
took my first shit of two-thousand fourteen to rites of spring by stravinsky.
it was immaculate. it was a long, steamy, well deserved shower on my friend’s parents water bill for the long
new years evening we had had a couple hours earlier.
i consciously made an effort to take in and enjoy washing my body with soap as to say i was symbolically wiping
away the previous year to make room for the new one. even taking the time to make room behind my ears.
after the last drops of soap and shampoo dripped down the drain i turned off the faucets as the saying goes, in a
“righty tighty” fashion, but was unsure of myself in the way one can only be unsure of his or herself when performing a routine task in a
strange home. i stepped out into the man-made fog from my long shower, walked straight to their bathroom’s
body length mirror, and wiped where i guessed my face would be if the glass had
not been made such a steamy blur.
“my first reflection of this year”, i said aloud while staring back at a surprising amount of five o’clock shadowing from my stubble-filled pores. i wondered hoping, would this be the year i’d finally be able to grow a beard?
i put on my pants with fingers crossed and stepped out into the quiet calm of my friend’s parent’s home. i tip-toed back into the storage space that was his sister’s room and excitedly finished getting dressed back up into my same
change of clothes meant for yesterday’s occasion. with my left-overs look complete i pushed onward still for what i knew if it were possible would be my cherry flavor on top of that first day.

having been meticulously prepared for the previous night
i had brought a small plastic spray sample of my favorite cologne with every intention of sprucing myself up throughout the eve.
for the second time already with the morning barely upon me, i wondered keeping fingers crossed if there was any left to help start off my year smelling the way i preferred to be smelled. i reached into my jacket pocket past my car keys, past my watch waiting to be reunited with my left wrist and gripped the tiny spray bottle. i pulled it out and up from my pocket in an excited rush straight to my face which made my eyes match my crossed fingers for a brief moment. what looked like three drops remained.
“eureka!”, i shouted more comfortably than i probably should have been in a house not my own. elated to find
them i applied the remaining drops to my right wrist, worked the cologne into my left, and rubbed the invisible wet
remnants onto my neck and jacket. though satisfied i couldn’t help myself and continued with greedy effort trying to squeeze every last
literal drop out of the miniature bottle. much more than i’d anticipated was able to be made use of and very soon i was to a fault smelling the familiar way i preferred to be smelled. feeling put together i crept into my friend’s bedroom to see if my feelings were mutual only to find him still in his bed fast asleep. i caught a glimpse of myself in his bust level mirror hung on the wall. to me i looked like a man ready to start this year off right. i got lost in my head while thinking about myself looking ready to start the year off right and my seemingly marble; taxidermy stuffed eyes wandered from the self-satisfied reflection in the mirror to his chest of drawers directly below. strung upon it were his personal possessions that amounted to a representation of his day to day life and among them was a zippo lighter engraved with his initials. I made an overdue observation that we shared almost the same initials except for being off by one letter. something inside of me told me to pick it up so i did. i stared at his chiseled initials with only crossed eyes repeating them over and over to myself:
C. R. S. C. R. S. C. R. S.
i loved the idea of scratching metal to make something more significant. i popped the lighter’s pleasing to open top that practically begged it and although there was nothing to light i sparked it for sparking’s sake and in the interest of resolving to be more spontaneous in the new year.
i was genuinely surprised to find that the fire that started at my cologne soaked fingers and spread quickly to my
fragrant wrists, neck, and jacket made no sound worth his arrival to fourteen instead of thirteen while it engulfed my body.