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Eric.

By , Lawrence, KS
This one night we were driving around and it was maybe 30 degrees out and the houses had Christmas lights on them. Smoke was swirling in front of your face and you spoke like thought you were a philosopher. Said that you don’t feel pain. You don’t feel cold. You don’t sleep more than an hour per night because you spend so much time in deep thought.

And I could tell you read too many books, watch too many movies. And maybe I do too, because I recognized us. A pair of acquaintances, talking like we’re talking to ourselves. No censorship, no embellishments, no modesty. Comforted by how temporary it is…didn’t bother us a bit that we knew each other then better than we ever could again.

You looked at me and said you don’t feel love. That you refuse to attach yourself for long because all you want from anyone is an “experience”, a lesson or something. Intellectual or physical…doesn’t matter. And you crinkled up your forehead all seriously.

But I laughed. And I stared at your dimly glowing profile all wrapped up in the smoke, and I told you that try as you might to convince yourself otherwise, one of these days you’d find someone you had nothing to gain from and you’d love her. And she wouldn’t want a damn thing from you but an experience. And you’d be miserable about it.
“Yeah,” you said, “I know.” And your eyes were all sad and distant, but you laughed a little too.
When I got out of the car, you were all alone in your cloud of smoke, and I had the experience I’d wanted.





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