Weak Teeth

The shower's running when he shows up half an hour before her specified time. He's greeted by a quiet canine with wet, inquisitive eyes as confused as his intestines. Without a sound he slips from his Levi's and Hanes to join her behind the waterproof curtain. She's surprised for a second time when he reaches for her razor and stoops to his knees. They've never played this way before. He begged her to let it grow with the insistence that one facet of classic feminine beauty had been lost in recent decades. Slowly, between trembling thighs, his steady hand strips her of the small sacrifice she'd made at his request. He rises when he's done--the remnants of a promise catching in the drain--then lands a hard kiss on her forehead while the showerhead pummels their faces to form a memory they'll view differently over pending weeks and years and cocktail conversations.

The look in her eyes is harder to stomach than any absent words would be. Her guilty razor's returned to its perch among the products and soap scum. A step onto tile is easier to make than he'd anticipated with no slips in the script. Denim and jersey stick to his skin since using a towel seems trivial now. While seeing himself out of her apartment for the last time, that familiar form of solace in the quest swells up and swirls around him like a squall of possibilities. Somewhere, he swears stubbornly to himself. Somewhere, regardless of rainbows.

He may be a wretch for feeling it, but he'll miss the dog more than its owner.

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