I've had too much, again, and I can sense my impaired judgement dancing around outside of me, dancing like a two-bit whore. There is a man, older than me by light years. He struggles to make himself heard. "What are you waiting for?" My ice cold hands brush the sweaty glass in front of me. I invest no thought or defference in the shrug I extend.

My friend is across the room. He knows all the rules. He owns every advantage, while I buy every observation at great price. There are phone numbers spilling from my wallet, stale crumbs to an appetite whet for lotus.

The old man leans in. His hand brushes my chest. "Let me offer a word of fatherly advice..."

That's the difference. My friend, it's about what he wants from someone else. Me, it's about what they want from me.

I back up and the old man follows. He stumbles and falls heavily into me, while trying to press his face to mine. I choke as a sound wrenches from me. I think my friend pulled him away, I don't remember much. I do recall, though, replaying his words to me, in my head.

What are you waiting for,

what are you waiting for,

what are you waiting for.

Not these numbers, these codes that lead to tactless and base, endless repetition of falsehood and flattery to, very simply, have a go with me. The emptiness of it all exhausts me. Not the next drink. I watch my friend. We dance sometimes, he and I. Even though we're just friends, we show the room how it's done. When we do, I come alive. Maybe from the music, pulsing and loud. Maybe from the smell of being close, my hair wild and in my face, him firm and strong, a frame inside of which he paints me, beautiful like fire. Maybe just because it's a common moment which I own, which we both understand and belong to. My answer comes in waves, beating an emphatic score into a frantic crescendo. The moment that is alive, that's all I want. It's what I'm waiting for all the way across the room from someone I envy, because to him

living is as simple as breathing.

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