Short story: “Senses”

I don’t know if this really counts as a “story” but I am digging it. I think it’s one of the best pieces I’ve done on what young, crazy love feels like.

Actually, I think this would be a fun monologue.


Sometimes when I’m not keeping a close eye on it, my mind wanders off to places I would usually never allow it to go – or rather, it ventures to secret places I pretend don’t exist.

Sometimes it imagines that you and I have finally become what we always secretly wanted to be – normal, happy people. I see myself standing in a 70s-style kitchen, washing dishes while looking out the window, feeling the sun warm my face and flood the room. You come in and kiss my cheek and say, “Hell-o, good morning, Peanut,” in a sickeningly sweet tone that makes you sound sarcastic and allows you to pretend your term of endearment isn’t as sincere as it really is. In return I say, “Hell-o, Snugglemuffin,” in the exact same tone with the exact same intentions. Suddenly we are sitting at the breakfast nook with pancakes and eggs and sausage and grapefruit and orange juice waiting for us to dive in and devour them – but we disappoint them. Instead, we just stare at each other, sort of like, “Wow, I can’t believe you’re really here.” You look intensely at me while nervously fiddling with your knife. I absent-mindedly rest my elbow on the table and my chin in my hand and just sort of look up at you. Then finally, I just reach out and touch your face to find out if you’re real. And you are. “You’re beautiful,” I say. “You’re leaning your elbow on your eggs,” you reply. We laugh and realize that we’re more content than we – or anyone else before us – have ever been before.

Sometimes it imagines that I am a world-famous singer-songwriter and you are a world-famous actor and that we have decided that you must be my date to the Grammy’s and I yours to the Oscar’s. So we go and everyone speculates that we must, must, must be dating. At an after-party, some snot-nosed pap takes a photo of me whispering something to you and within a few hours, Perez Hilton is saying we’re disgusting for necking in such a public place while simultaneously raving about how well-matched we are. After I win my Grammy and you win your Oscar, we decide to celebrate by going out on your yacht. While we’re taking my private plane to get to where your yacht is docked, you suddenly turn to me and tell me plainly, “I want to spend time with you but we can’t let anyone else see us. I need to look like I’m single so women will still watch my movies and hang posters of me shirtless on their walls. From now on, we can’t communicate with each other in public – not even on Twitter. I’m sorry, I’m not ashamed of you, but I just can’t let my ranking on IMDB go any lower than it is now.” And I spit back – in a very sultry, ladylike, A-list way, of course – “But you’re the second most popular actor in the world!” And you stroke my face and say, “Sweetie, I can’t let Rob Pattinson beat me. I mean, he’s not even as hot as all those dumb girls say he is.” I agree woefully and wonder if you really love me. Then you intertwine your fingers with mine to let me know what I think is happening is really happening. You smile and say, “By the way, you look so beautiful today,” and hope lives in me again.

Sometimes I imagine us standing out in a meadow in Sweden or a horse ranch in Colorado or in a field in Oklahoma or a back alley in downtown Manhattan – wherever it is, it is raining and we are soaked but we don’t care. It’s been a long night and we’ve been on edge. We almost fought over something stupid but we took a few minutes to calm ourselves down and find something to laugh about. That song we always play in your car is, for some reason, playing in the background and its lyrics are entirely inappropriate for the moment but the instrumentals are perfect for our mood and all of a sudden everything just comes together and you lean in close and take a deep breath. Then I reach out and touch your face to find out if you’re real. And you are. Then you intertwine your fingers with mine to let me know what I think is happening is really happening.

And then we kiss. As we kiss, employees around the world clock in and out, people come to life and die, civilizations rise and fall. But we don’t care because all that matters is this, this right now, and it is more real than anything we’ve ever felt before. We are happier than we – or anyone else before us – have ever been before and we suddenly have hope for ourselves, for our loved ones, for dying breeds like daytime soaps and print journalism, for serial killers like whoever that psycho on Long Island is, for serial killers like cancer and AIDS, for mankind and for us – for us, us, us. Us.

I realize that I spent all of the years of my life denying that I felt anything at all and that I have wasted so much time. It makes me cry but you don’t notice because we’re both drenched. But then I stop my sobbing because now I am kissing you with more passion than I ever thought possible and realize I could erase all my mistakes, let go of all my regrets and undo everything I ever did wrong by being here with you. Everything is okay when I’m with you. Everything is great when I’m with you. Everything is right when I’m with you!

You run your fingers through my hair and you hold my face so you can kiss me harder and I begin unbuttoning your shirt and who cares that we’re in public? Your lips move down my neck and down my shoulders and I’ve finally finished with your button-down and of course, it’s usually at this point that I catch myself and stop thinking. I stop imagining. I start thinking about something else entirely. Like all the bills I still have to pay. Or how I don’t like Katy Perry as a redhead.

But I know no matter how much I try to deny it, ignore it or run away from it, you will always be there. And one day I will touch your face and you will intertwine your fingers with mine and we will probably kiss that epic kiss straight from my imagination and look like really indecent, uncivilized, incredibly happy people in some ridiculously public place and people will complain and take pictures and call the cops on us and we will laugh as we compose ourselves and seek shelter somewhere more private and you will smile at me, say, “Well, that was fun,” and kiss me on the forehead. And finally – finally – I will come to my senses.


About Summer Dawn Hortillosa

Summer Dawn Hortillosa is a journalist specializing in arts and entertainment. Among other things, she is also an award-winning playwright, director, singer-songwriter and actress. Her work has been seen in The Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal and other publications.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Prose, Short Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Short story: “Senses”

  1. Pingback: Short story ‘Senses,’ revision #1 |

  2. Pingback: Short story ‘Senses,’ revision 5 |

  3. Pingback: Short story ‘Senses,’ revision 6 |

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