She sits there talking about a band I’ve never heard of. She’s talking to a scruffy older man a couple of bar stools away from us. Yelling really, not talking. She’s making him laugh and impressing him with her knowledge of a band that was famous 30 years before she was even thought of.
I’m sipping my beer and nodding my head to a more recent band’s song playing on the radio. I’m watching her out of the corner of my eye. She can’t see me because she’s blind in one eye. But she knows I’m watching. She always knows.
Her hair shines like fire when it catches the sunlight creeping in through the dingy windows of the bar. It shimmers as she laughs and I’m hypnotized, as I always am. Her shoulders slouch so much it looks as though she’s slowing falling into a fetal position, hovering just above the bar protecting her drink.
My hand is resting just above her knee and I slip my finger in between the rips of her black tights and tickle her skin. She wraps her hand around my little finger, not to stop me, just to let me know she’s still there with me. I’m comforted, momentarily.
“I wish you were coming home with me.” She says to my wandering ears and draws me back to her. I smile at her sadly and lean in to kiss her lips. Her flames get stuck in my Chapstick as she turns her face away. “Don’t pretend like you care.” she says. “Don’t flatter me.”
“You know I love you, you know I would if I had known.” I say, placing a stray hair behind her ear. I say it because I do love her and because I would give up anything to fall asleep to her giggling beside me. I would give up anything but him, and she knows it and she’s loathes him for it.
“I know you do.” She smiles and kisses me just below my ear. I stare down at her chipped nail polish and begin to pick at it absentmindedly. Flecks of gold and blue scatter to the floor of the bar or else lodge themselves under my own chipped nails.
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I’m sitting alone in a dark room, or it would be dark if the snow wasn’t reflecting the sunlight into my eyeballs. I’m clutching my coffee cup like a lifeline. In a way I guess it is a lifeline because without it I surely would have murdered the person shoveling outside my window at…7:37 Sunday morning.
I plant my feet firmly on the ground and try to get a grip on myself. I know this will pass but I can’t get over the overwhelming darkness filling my chest and wrapping its fingers around my throat. I can feel my body pump hormones into my brain. It might be a headache forming from too much sangria and not enough water but I’ll blame my body anyway.
My eyelids are swollen and my lips are so chapped I can feel them cracking under my frown. I try to lick them wet but my mouth and throat are just as dry. My coffee sits on the floor cold and nearly forgotten about.
As I pick the mug up to my lips I notice my nails are still painted to express his favorite colors. I’ll change them as soon as we get home. He doesn’t deserve my representation or to have me thinking of him. Or maybe he does. But it doesn’t matter now. I’m lost to the ache in my abdomen and the fact that my phone still stares blankly back at me. And then the tears come. Because how can you tell someone you love them and then never think about them? Why aren’t things the same?
I answer myself irrationally that it is because now he knows what you look like naked and any time he shows up at your door he can do whatever he pleases with you. Even though it’s probably not true, I sit on this broken futon and rationalize to myself until it is the absolute truth and now I hate him, and myself. I hate that he used meaningless words to get me to do the things I had already wanted to do. I didn’t need love to come but he forced it to and then i fell for him when I only wanted sex in the first place. So really, I’m getting exactly what always wanted. But that’s not the fucking point right now, okay?
I’m not sure what my point was. But mom’s making pancakes and I need another coffee. Oh, and look, a new message on my phone!