It went like this: the motions, the noises, the words or no words, or some words. The shower never being hot, news and coffee in the morning light, long skirts with sneakers hidden shamefully underneath. There was the middle row in class, the middle seat, the boy behind me who won’t shut up the girl in front of me biting her fingernails and I laugh, I laugh to myself. What a crazy, crazy world. There was bologna sandwiches at noon, my averted eyes on the elevator, sucking in the Fall air wishing I could run barefoot across the pavement without anyone staring. At night there were full moons and droopy eyes, people lit up by street lamps and me, way up in the sky with the impeccable irony of my head always being in the clouds. There were striking moments of complete clarity, notepads and highlighter stains, the fleeting “I finally understand” accompanied with cookies and Nyquil to carry me softly into my inevitable nightmares. It went like this until that one night, what night it was I do not remember just the stickiness of the vinyl booth we tucked ourselves into, salt on the tabletop my fingertips circling the rim of my glass and your beautiful, beautiful eyes I will not try to describe because its been done a thousand times and I’m no Hemingway. You said you hated Hemingway. You said he was dry and humourless which I found ironic because you are sometimes the same way but I would never tell you this I’m a coward unlike you with the scruff on your cheeks and that one really worn out t-shirt that you insist on wearing everywhere. And when I asked you if you wore it to be cool you said no, that you wore it because it reminded you of the things you had done and the places you had been and it made me think of all the books on my shelves, worn and folded the way I liked them because it meant they had been properly read and now instead of hating your shabby t-shirt I just wonder the things you have done and the places you have been. Will you tell me? I wonder a lot of things about you, like why you never really talk about your father or why your hands always shake or why you’re always trying so hard to fix everybody. Sometimes I wonder if the things you say are true or if you silently laugh at the world walking around with your choppy dark hair a cigarette always dangling from your lips like your goddam Holden Cauffield, and you know what I don’t even blame you for it because now instead of bologna sandwiches and sneakers and unsaid words there is my smile in the mirror telling me perhaps tonight. Perhaps tonight as I comb my hair and put on my lipstick but it just turns into a series of jabs, brushes and interrupted conversations. Rooms filled with salty lips and new sweaters, rehearsed lines, hi, how are you? whats your major? That one night when I told you “psychology” and you smiled slyly and asked if I was analyzing you. I swear I’ll never tell. Instead of cookies there is perhaps tonight in my button dress when everyone called me a prude but you said I was pretty and I wanted to kiss you right then. I never wondered what you would taste like because I knew you would taste like cigarettes and I’m sorry I told you so, but what I did think about was what you would feel like. Like perhaps the ending of a really good novel or a cup of hot chocolate after you’ve been in the cold. But you didn’t feel like this. Instead you felt like the second just before you slam to the ground when jumping from the swing, or the breathless moment when your hand touches Home Free or when I look down from my castle in the sky and think about what it would feel like to jump. Now instead of Nyquil there is your soft voice in the night, sappy love songs when I’m all alone dancing until my heart is racing thinking about your hands and your words and all the soft little creatures at home that probably have your heart. Girls that have read that yellowed Kafka book on the corner of your desk and get your jokes and know who John Lennon is. Girls who taste like oranges and skittles and have heard all your secrets. Girls who don’t wear skirts and dance pretty. And in my head I think “its ok” but I know I’m just trying to convince myself that the motions are what’s best, instead of this impulsive state of you, this place where I am free of expectations, obligations you and your aesthetics this state of writing and laughing at things that aren’t supposed to be funny, tangled in sheets letting the day waste away knowing if I ever had a chance to go back to the way it was I wouldn’t .
You write shabby titles so maybe I will too
October 7, 2012