Danny to me in the video store: “Why not get this one?”
I paused, biting my lip.
Danny, YOU could be biting my lip right now, I thought. Let’s go. Let’s tuck ourselves into a closet somewhere and you can kiss me as hard as you want.
But maybe it was something in the neon blue lights or the DVD he was holding. He just raised his eyebrows and waved the movie in my face.
“I don’t want to.” I said. “That one’s lame.”
“Who wants funny?” Yes, I said it. Sarcastic and mean, just like that. But, you know, don’t get me wrong. I was in favor of funniness. I’m a funny girl. Danny was just not getting it.
He sighed and put the boring movie down.
The point was: we were young. Do you know how often you get to be young? We were young and on that particular night, we looked amazing. My hair was down, brushing my shoulders. Danny’s collar was open and I could just see his collarbone, curving beneath his skin. But it wasn’t just about making out, either.
I just wanted Danny to realize that we were young. That it was a night in July and there were crickets chirping out there in the darkness.
He was standing there, holding a romantic comedy, and probably not thinking about it. He was probably thinking about popcorn, probably about work in the morning, and, yes, probably about sex – but only in that brief, idiotic way men typically do.
He shoved his glasses up the bridge of his nose. I adored those glasses. They were part of his charm.
Somewhere, someplace, there once were two young people. And they went to the beach on a July night and wrestled in the sand. She rubbed sand in his face and when they tried to kiss they knocked their heads together. And the next morning she woke up with her hair in knots and her shoes soaked in seawater. And then he wrote it or she wrote it or they told a friend of theirs who wrote it. And that’s where Danny’s lame movie came from.
Danny wanted to watch something someone else had lived. And while it might make us feel good for a while, really, it would just get lost in translation. Because probably they didn’t even really knock their heads together when they kissed, but the person who wrote it decided that nobody would believe it if they didn’t knock their heads together. Because the truth would actually seem less realistic than the cute quirkiness of people who can’t kiss right. Good kissing is so done. The time has come for bad kissing and knotted hair and shoes that smell of the sea.
To Danny, it didn’t matter what had happened to these people. It only mattered what the writer wrote and what the two beautiful actors did. To Danny, that was all there was.
And he just stood there, lanky, glasses glinting in the fluorescents. For God’s sake, I know why he wanted that movie! Because he was only halfway on the beach, had only one foot in the closet, only one arm draped (very loosely) around my shoulders.
I wanted to know if Danny and I would ever knock heads. I wanted to do something that would make a good movie later.
But, at the end of the night, Danny and I watched his lame DVD. And, five years later, I wrote something I just made up.
And Danny and his tall blonde wife thought it was great.