Early 20s, jeans and rugby shirts type.
Spanish-American, tall and skinny, black hair and dark eyes. Had a way of
looking upwards at people that reminded me of Lauren Bacall chin down,
eyes looking up from under his bangs.
For two years I sleep in his waterbed, listening through the walls as his
roommates bring home faceless women from the downtown bars. I meet his
mother and know why he hates his father and how it tears him up to sever
those ties. He holds me when I learn I've been asked to "take a break" from
college, and pushes me to scrimp and save to return. He teaches me baseball
and hockey, and to recite from memory the home stadiums of every National
League team. I balance his checkbook and worry over his debts. On the
nights I spend alone, I sleep with the telephone near my head, in case he
calls for me in the early morning hours.
In the end, I quietly leave the warmth of his bed late one January night
and gather my things from the second-hand dresser. He needs me too much.