He did something that surprised you. You knew what he was but the ties began to regrow. A mass of veins spreading from him to you. You welcomed him back in. He needed you.
You welcomed him into your home for a time. You began to feel neglected, just like last time. You didn’t really mean to click on the messages between him and the girl he had used to leave you. You weren’t even painted as a friend in those messages. You were the girl who said she would help him out… “Ugh,” he told her. Ugh.
You have a moment of clarity. You take a walk on the beach. You pick up a rock for his collection. You give it to him with a smile. He smiles back and pulls you in for a hug. The hug makes you feel nothing. You realize you’ve conned him back.
I’ve always found a light shade of summer freckle on a man to be an attractive feature. Pair that with an effortless baseball cap and I’m probably halfway to love.
It’s as if I’ve formulated this notion that if you’re a freckled man, you’re an approachable man, you’re a good man; worthy of my planting a kiss on the impression the sun has left on you.
If only all that were true.
I have two and a half blisters because of what you said. I decided I had to walk around the neighborhood until I wasn’t mad about it anymore. I was also locked out of my apartment and had to get cash for the lockout fee but also had to kill an hour and a half. I was wearing my new shoes too.
Sometimes I wish I was a standup comedian so that I could go on stage and say things like “Sometimes I cry in elevators” and it wouldn’t sound so pathetic. I would deliver it in such a way that the audience would laugh and shift in their seats to accommodate their active abdominal muscles.
Maybe I would tell them how when I met him he was light and carefree and by that I mean he was drunkenly singing karaoke and doing a dance that involved excessive amounts of pelvic thrusting. I knew I had to have him.
I could tell them how when we started there were more libations which made for an evening long soirée during which we talked among ourselves and multiple strangers and even narrowly avoided an orgy invitation.
I’m still trying to write up the bit where, without comment, he decides it’s all too much for him and walks away. I can’t quite pick out what would make that one funny. Although; that is where the part about crying in elevators was born, so it can’t be all that bad.
The all too cliche “Hello old friend” was the only greeting I seemed able to express. I had seen hints of you in the last months, but now here you were, draping yourself over the other side of my booth. My eyes adjust to your presence.
Your warmth was melting my ice cubes. Their shape was more rounded than it had been. You have that affect.
I tried to soak you in, let myself be impressed by you. There had been days that I’d near begged to see you but you’d refused. The moment felt momentous but I couldn’t seem to muster the proper emotion. I only found myself hoping you’d be back for good but I knew that realistically you still had a couple more months away.
The diner began to fill. Chatter of fresh patrons leaked into our reverie. I felt a chill.
Our fire burned for 64 hours, at least. We left after the 64th hour of fire so there’s no telling how long it lasted after we had left but it was mostly ash and smoking wood by the time we left so it couldn’t have been too long.
The nails are always the first to go. They peel and fall away until you decide to eventually cut them off and start from scratch.
And then you watch them grow. Eventually you think, these are definitely longer than when we said goodbye. You take care of them. They grow strong.
Someone comments on them. You then stare at them all day, admiring your work and their strength. They’re perfectly even. All the same length.
Then one breaks. You decide not to freak out. You file it back to a nice shape and notice how much shorter it looks than the others. But it’s fine; you know it’ll grow.