THE FATIGUE

Taylor had successfully liquored me up to a point of honesty and stupidity. I suppose this put me at a significant disadvantage, seeing as how each time I've seen him I've been somehow under the influence. He, thankfully, hadn't seemed to care.

"You wanna know something really funny?!" I exploded, clutching onto his arm for support as he sat before me. "You pissed on yourself!"

He blushed and patted my hand. "I think that's enough vodka for tonight."

"You're taking me home?" I poked out my bottom lip. "I wanna play!"

"What's that?"

"You, you wanna know something else funny?" I released the grip on his arm. "I'm wearing really ugly shoes!!"

"Oh, well if that doesn't-"

"I really just want to kiss you."

"You're a little tipsy, there."

"Taylor, I'm tired of wearing purple shoes."

He was a bit tipsy himself. "Then don't wear them anymore."

I giggled, kicking off the shoes. "Okay."

We made our way to the taxi conveniently parked near the bar. He held the door open for me as I crawled in, waving my bare feet at the driver. When he shut the door, he pushed me farther in and announced that we were going to Tribeca. For the duration of the trip, I didn't think of my missing shoes, lost dignity, and broken hearted boy I'd abandoned in a muggy café in the middle of Manhattan.

"Tell me something I don't know," I wiggled my toes in the filthy taxi carpet.

"You can't use that line yet; that's a forth date line," he turned to me while I was looking out the window. "Why did you find me tonight?"

I looked at him, "So you can tell me something I don't know."

"Wow, that's impressive."

I grinned, "What's impressive?"

"You're completely trashed and yet you can still be witty."

"Part of my charm."

When we reached his apartment, Taylor tossed a large bill at the driver and helped me out of the cab. In the unfortunate event of partial sobriety, I realized that walking on damp concrete without shoes was actually quite miserable. Pitying my bare feet, he threw me over his shoulder and ran for his door. That first night, I didn't remember the cayenne red of his walls, the gray hint of his hardwood floor, the lingering scent of mahogany, or the sticky humidity that I would eventually crave.

He dropped me on the closest armchair by the door, walked to the center of the room, and declared himself tired. For a moment we stared at one another awkwardly. Cautiously, he removed his shoes and took a step closer. Unsure of what to do, I shoved a clump of damp hair behind my ear. He took another step and watched me squirm with ignorance.

"Sorry, I haven't fixed the air conditioning yet." He spoke so fluidly and quietly. "It's a little hot."

"A bit."

"Kate, I'm tired of wearing this shirt."

Really? "Then don't wear it anymore."

"Okay," he peeled off the first shirt and laid it on the floor beside his feet, stepping closer again.

Nervously, I gawked at the gorgeous specimen of man in front of me. "You really should get a fan or something, " I ran my naked foot across the floor.

"Probably," he stripped himself of the other shirt and dropped it.

"Definitely," I stood up from the chair.

He took another step, leaving us mere inches apart. Reaching over, he pulled the clump of hair form its resting place and nudged my face towards his.

"I'm tired of wearing this dress," I whispered, surprised at myself.

He didn't speak; instead, with the same fingers that had made love to that immaculate piano, he pulled down the small black zipper holding together my dress. I was slowly being guided back into his room, leaving behind a trail of clothing, sans purple shoes.

At noon the next morning I awoke with the most unbearable post-coital hangover. For a second, I was completely disoriented and feared I'd pulled another anonymous drunken fuck. Panicking, I started looking around for nothing in particular until I noticed Taylor nearly falling off his side of the bed, were it not for the sheets tangled around his waist. Truly, he was far more attractive when he wasn't sleeping, his hair wasn't tangled and matted to his face and there wasn't a small puddle of drool growing by the corner of his mouth.

"God damn it!" he groaned into the pillow, slapping the small table next to the bed. "Where the fuck is the Advil?" he started flailing his legs around in bed, trying to unravel himself from the sheets. Pathetically, he sat up in bed and rubbed his eyes, frowning. "There's a condom stuck to my toe, isn't there?"