After putting on her pajamas and turning off her light, Alison twisted the blinds open so she could see out her bedroom window. It faced east, and she loved waking to the morning light streaming in. Unable to drift to sleep right away, Alison reflected more about the party at her neighbor’s place.
That guy, Leo – he’d brought an older art professor as his “date,” he’d said, but Alison saw sparks fly between him and Franny. Leo was older too but with a boyish face and a well-formed body. Alison felt no guilt thinking of Leo’s body – she was not at all attracted to him, not at all – she was merely observing, reflecting that Leo had the body of a man who made a living with his muscles more than his mind. It was the kind of neutral observation any one might make after meeting Leo. Even another guy would notice those muscles, Alison thought.
And his smile – the way it made his eyes twinkle. The way Leo flirted with every one in the room, male or female, old or young, creating a sense of excitement and silliness. Alison wondered if Leo was gay. He didn’t seem gay, but then one never knew. In fact, even “seeming gay” was an outdated notion. Alison had taken enough electives in women’s studies and sociology to know that. Leo was just Leo, and his sexual orientation was a fact about him the same way his hair color was a fact, although at least one could see his hair color.
Alison sat up, stretched her arms, and checked the clock. Before her imagination could run away with her, she flicked on her reading lamp and picked up the book on her nightstand. The thick volume held key information related to her master’s thesis, Alison had been told by one of the stodgier professors on her committee. The professor had been maddeningly vague about just what that information was, or where in the book it lay hidden, but reading it was a sure-fire way to get to sleep. By the time Alison had read the third page three times, her eyelids fluttered shut and she drifted off, rousing several hours later to turn off her light, remembering a sweet dream about chocolate ice cream melting in her mouth.