The end in the dark
sand was not seen . . . . .

Melissa Miles

A s I watched the sand blow over my red shoes, it occurred to me that I probably would never see Matt again. Despite my pleading, which I never verbalized, I knew that we both had other worlds we needed to get back to. He was my first client, my first real love, and all I knew was that our kisses would never go on and on, like I wished.
We met in the back of a truck, having both come from a casino in Las Vegas. He were both sort of going home--he had hitchhiked a ride, having waited for hours on the road, determined to visit his mother who was dying. I was getting a ride with my newly made friend Susie who assured me that a dancer could make bucks at the ranch. She promised a story that was tipped with a slender curved spine of hope--and instead I got to have a broken heart and 200 bucks.
We made love on the porch--a beautiful room that got its name, because it was the only place in the ranch with windows. The floor had sand on it, having stuck to the soles of all the unruly customers. My back was pressed against the window, and Matt called my name. I didn't care back then that it was a fantasy land. I just hoped it would last past the one hour session he was paying me.
He sang to me, even tried to open the window, making sand blow past us, clinging to our sweaty bodies. I opened my mouth wide, swallowing the wind, wondering aloud when I would see him again. He murmured yes, and I believed him. Later I learned that that's how it goes. The first client gets you, in some small way, and hope is too hard to give up when you are first looking.
I asked him questions, listened as he cried. It really did matter, he told me, that I wanted to know. His mother didn't mean anything to him, and I held him, envying him for having family. I understood when he said he had to get home--her death was coming, and he had to get there. The girls laughed, when I told them, taking on bets on how many times he had told that sob story.
I ignore them mostly, but listen when they admit that falling in love once is worth having, even though for me, the end in the dark sand was not seen.

First published: October 31, 1998