Indio is always telling me relax and Indio is always telling me it's okay and Indio is always telling me smile and I am always thinking I can't always listen to you, Indio.
I don't ever remember seeing him without a smile on his face.
It's cold outside and I'm shivering and it smells like concrete and rain and city and gray and I'm sitting next to Indio on the curb with my hands clasped between my legs too-long blond hair falling all over my face and Indio's whistling, rolling a joint. I can't make out the tune and I'm hugging myself, rubbing my own arms retreating all into myself like it'll stop the teeth chattering. I feel Indio's fingers perpetually warm brush against my cheek and I close my eyes, leaning into his hand, and I hear him say, "Aw, baby, you chill?"
I nod, nod, nod in sync with his hand still stroking my cheek. He blows softly into my face and I open my mouth a little and open my eyes a little and I turn my face into his and he takes another hit and his lips are on mine and he opens his mouth and I suck the smoke in and we're both smiling a little too much.
Indio's laughing a little too much and his fingers are rubbing my hand now and he puts the lit end into his mouth and comes closer to me and I take the other end into my mouth and he blows, blows, I suck. The joint falls out of my mouth and into his lap and he's still smiling and he says, "Better now, yeah?"
I lick my lips and at least my teeth have stopped chattering and Indio's hand is creeping up my leg and I stretch my legs out into the road, intertwining them with his and he pushes the hair out of my face, joint back between his lips. It's never really quiet even in the middle of the night but it's quiet with Indio. Whenever he speaks all I can hear is his voice and Indio's voice has a slightly rough sandpaper quality to it and I think I could listen to him talk forever. Sometimes we're lying in bed and the back of my hand is on his neck and he's telling me a poem and I can feel his vocal cords vibrating and fuck if it isn't my favorite thing in the entire world.
Every so often he puts his hand on my neck and I mouth Hey and I mouth him a poem back, always his favorite, I carry your heart with me (I carry it in/my heart) I am never without it (anywhere, and he tells me what he thinks my voice would sound like, what he knows my voice would sound like and I mouth again, I carry it in my heart.
Strong, he says, deep and warm and perfect and I sign quickly no no that's you but it's too dark for him to see and he continues, husky and hot and I laugh breathily, soundlessly, wish that we could hear my strong deep warm husky hot perfect voice.
It's still cold outside but we've been passing the joint back and forth and I'm starting to feel a little numb now, a little relaxed and it feels like time is moving slower, like everything is moving slower, and my hand snakes around his waist and pulls him closer to me and he puts the joint in my mouth and he's whistling softly again. I let my head drop against his shoulder, hair all over my face again, and I listen to him, inhaling lazily, and the smells of concrete and rain and city and gray are gone, it's not cold anymore, it's not loud anymore, it's just me and Indio and it smells like Indio and sounds like Indio and feels like Indio and everything is Indio. My Indio.
I wonder what his name would sound like coming from my lips and I hand the joint back to him and press my face into his shoulder and I mouth it, Indio, over and over again, Indio, Indio, Indio, Indio, and then his hand's on the back of my head, gently massaging my scalp. He says, "Yeah, baby, what is it?" and I shrug, shake my head. I reach up and sign I love you against his cheek and he pulls my hand to his lips and kisses softly.
It's darker now and there's barely any stars I can make out through the polluted sky and Indio murmurs, "The moon's so bright today." I glance up at it for half a second before I look back at his face, bathed in the moonlight and shadows dance around his smile like they're trying to capture it and I sign mine, I sign my Indio. He's still gazing up at the sky and I take a hit and slowly blow smoke into his face and he smiles more, looks at me eyes hazy and says, "It looks good on you." I stare and he says, "The moon."
I swallow and drop what's left of the joint, crushing it beneath my heel and he says as usual, "Come on, baby, I just want to see you smile some more," and I slowly sign Sorry even though he probably can't even see it in this light or lack thereof and then I'm smiling and he says, "There we go."
He asks me then, "What's your favorite sound?"
I pull out my mini whiteboard and let my fingers run across its surface softly before I write, Your voice, and he takes out the small light he always carries with him and focuses it on the board and I'm still writing – What's your favorite sound?
He says, "The sound of you listening to me," and I exhale softly and hands shaking slightly I write, My Indio, and he says, "Your Indio."