groove, Jon Goldstein

From Vol. 1, No. 4

Sharing a locker with Phoebe in grade eleven was really one of the luckiest things to ever happen to me. Just knowing, that no matter what, our boots were alone in the dark for six hours a day was enough to make me feel like at least something was going right in my life.
The first time I ever phoned her up, I was lying on my stomach on my parent’s bed, a hand inside the front of my pants, watching myself in the dresser mirror. It was under the pretense of some locker business, about how I was wondering if she had seen this fancy pen of mine. When I had the poison control sticker just about peeled off the receiver, I launched into a long speech about the Three Stooges and how she should definitely check out their stuff. After I was finished, I asked her out.
We went to see the Eurythmics at this outdoor concert and I don’t know where I came up with the idea, but I wanted to hold her from behind and sway with her to the music. I knew that if I didn’t do it I would hate myself forever.
Phoebe’s friend Deborah was driving and we had to stop in the city to pick up her boyfriend. At his apartment, he opened the door in a bath towel. I had never seen a boy that hairy in my life. He looked like he was about forty-five. In the car on the way to the show, he handed me back a piece of licorice candy that almost burnt a hole through my tongue.
During a slow song, I snuck up behind Phoebe and put my sweaty pocket hands on her hips. I tried to ease us both into some kind of groove, but only ended up almost ripping off her sneakers. For the rest of the evening, she was afraid to go near me. Deborah’s boyfriend held them both, dancing with them inperfect unison like they were his back-up singers.
At home that night I ate a bowl of cereal and stared blankly at a bottle of nail polish sitting on the kitchen table. Carefully, I painted my nails. In bed, my fingers spider walked the length of my ribs. Quit tickling me. I have a a plane to catch in the morning.