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And Then I'll be Gone

One day you’ll see me at the bus stop with all my things,
And you’ll ask yourself where I could be going.
You’ll notice I hadn't showered that morning from the shrub growing on my head. You’ll wonder how it can blow with the wind and still branch out in every direction.
And then you’ll watch me bury my face in the palms of my hands as though I was in a hospital waiting room.
I’ll be expressionless, but in that you’ll see a world of emotions I clearly can’t handle
And you’ll wonder if I usually looked that way.
I do.
And then you’ll think I must be in pain for some reason and that something is wrong,
When the truth is that nothing is wrong, except that my socks don’t match.
You’ll go back to all the memories that my face describes to you and try to relate, try to understand. That time you cheated on a test and got caught, that time your girlfriend got caught cheating on you.
You’ll see me rub my right arm with my left hand and then you’ll feel lonely – because you’ll think that I’m lonely.
And you’ll ask yourself if I’m going home.
But if you were lonely, going home would only remind you of how lonely you are and make things worse, so you’ll squint and see my eyes glisten in the sun. I’m not crying, but I must have been.
And once you notice that, you’ll c*** your neck forward and see the stains under my arms and chest. I’m sweating.
My face will be redder than usual, you can tell from the white outlines that streak across my forehead. I look tense and rigid against the bus stop bench and it’ll start to stress you out. You’ll hear your breath deepen and feel your nails scratch from inside your clenched fists and you’ll have to look away.
And you’ll ask yourself if I’m going to be ok.
When you look back I’ll be looking at you. I’ll stand up and when my eyes catch yours, I’ll smile automatically. You’ll know my mouth is full of s***. I’ll know you know it.
Now that I’m standing you’ll see that I’m hunched over from all that time I spend looking down instead of around. All I’ll see are the cracks in the pavement and shoes walking by. You’ll watch my gaze follow the shoes as though I wanted to be the one walking in them.
I do.
You’ll feel sad like me, for me. You’ll want to do or say something to help but you’ve never seen someone so helpless, and I’m a complete stranger to you. So you’ll keep watching.
And then the bus without wheels will approach and I’ll get on.
And then I’ll be gone.

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