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There’s something about him that turns a room to Technicolor and stirs up words that had settled like fallen leaves on the floor of my mind. Suddenly I’m a tornado of prose, and still none of it will capture quite perfectly the feelings he incites. There is a fragile façade of cool aloofness—he’s made a game of affecting me, and I can’t let him win. And that’s what’s so addicting, this game we play, because I’ve finally met a foe who has a chance at beating me. Anyone else I can cut down ruthlessly, efficiently, and quickly, but he is a puzzle, an intricate, strategic battle that keeps us both on our toes. It’s a sadomasochistic game of tug-of-war, and I don’t know who exactly is winning. I know that when he walks over, it’s to talk to me and me alone, using terms only I can understand and references only I can corroborate. I know that when he walks over, there’s suddenly less oxygen available for me, and I’m sucking his carbon dioxide too quickly to get acclimated in the time he gives me. If he’d give me a minute to catch my breath, I think I could beat him. Because I know his game now.


At first, you don’t. You don’t know the game or the rules or even that there is a game. You know that he sets off a glow that lights up everything, makes it sharp and colorful and charges it with potential. Here’s someone who’s your equal, whose thoughts and opinions are not necessarily the same but well thought-out and eloquently, intelligently voiced. Here’s someone who likes to argue, who can play a verbal sparring match with you that could last an eternity.


For a while, his light drowns out all others, even your own. I’m cynical and skeptical, but everything in my head pertaining to him had optimism written all over it, which just makes the fall twice as hard. And when the fall comes, then you’re left with nothing but your own mind to puzzle through it. And then, in the right light, you see straight through him. There’s a harsh transparency in his actions, his plans. You see that’s he’s the sadist, and you’re just letting him play. You see that you’re an ego trip for him, and nothing more. He’s off to bigger and better things, but he’ll be back.


He’ll be back for another hit of ephedrine for his ego. He’ll be back to screw with your head because he knows he can.





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