Archived: Moxie by Makaelynn DuVall

I go looking for you in the night. I have figured out how to live without you during the light hours, but as nighttime comes in, I lose my strength. I close my eyes and try to feel where you are, because if I can find you, then we are still real. I start with the drink and the green goddess, letting my mind slip down my spine as the music plays. I get dressed off my floor and pick something warm because I’ll be walking. I can never remember if I am alone or with friends. All I know is I will end the night alone.

I enter, climbing the stairs to the bar, and I can feel my heart beating in my ears. You will be the first and only person I look for tonight. Everything is just for the chance of seeing you. I get there early enough that you are not there yet. I grab my first drink and walk to the stage area where a local small band is playing something heavy. The lights are moving, dancing on the empty floor space. My beer is cheap but tastes like downtown. The bubbles are my only friends, and I talk to them as I swallow down the drink. I stand there waiting for your tall figure to grace the doorway. The room is filling up, and I squeeze out to use the ladies room and grab another drink. The lights in the bathroom are bright, and I can’t ever stand my reflection. I tell myself this is the night where you realize you love me. I give myself one more look and head back to the bar. There you are– your back is facing me with a flat-billed baseball cap, and I can see you’re laughing.

I maneuver my way around you going to the other side of the bar. I wait for the bartender and focus my gaze on just in front of me. I want to look cool and relaxed even if I am drinking at a bar alone on a Friday night. I order, “Tall boy PBR, please.” My voice catches your ear, and from out of my peripheral vision, I can see you’ve spotted me. I pay for my drink and grab my cold can off the warm bar. I start to head to the stage and pass right by you when you turn and catch me by the arm. I look unimpressed, but inside I am all aglow. My heart feels like it’s complete for just a moment. I catch my breath and look at you.

We say “Hey” and hug. I tease you, and you laugh. Right before it gets awkward, I break away and head back to the stage area. Now for the rest of the night every drink, every glance, and every song it’s only for you. As the night goes on and the drink keeps on pouring, we see each other and eventually find each other in the middle of the stage floor. The headlining band is about to play, and we have all gathered to hear it. I shine like a firecracker with you next to me. I wonder if you notice. I also wonder what will happen to us if I ever stop going out to find you. I like to leave while the music is still playing, so while you are distracted, I slip away. I head back to my house, stopping only to do snow angels on the way.

I lie down and wait. Wait for you to text or call that you are coming to my house. The magic time is two am. This is when the bars close. I drift to sleep eventually, the booze weighing me down to slumber. I awaken to my phone lighting up and your name coming across my vision. It is the middle of the night, and you are right on time. I jump up and brush my teeth. It is only moments before I see you walk across and down the stairs to my apartment. My midnight man in moonlit armor. I let you in and we start our date in darkness. The morning always comes too soon.

Biography: Makaelynn is a 34-year-old female and a Greeley, CO native. She has a son, and they live with their dog, Knickson. Makaelynn started writing because she would from a very early age have this ache to fill an empty notebook. The blank lines had the courage to be anything she wanted them to be. Makaelynn was, and always will be, in love with reading and books. She loves the adventure of a good book, and the healing words of someone else sharing their experiences. Makaelynn soon realized if she could fill those empty lines with her life or a caricature of it, then, maybe she too could get rid of this ache for just a moment. She also wanted to capture the pulse of the human condition. It all started with expressing her own experience. 16 years ago, Makaelynn started her journey at Aims Community College. She started as a fresh-faced 18-year-old. Makaelynn will now graduate thanks to God’s grace and her Mama.