The sea breeze turns the page for me, dusting the backs of my legs in sand and uncovering tiny specks of surprise life. Everything around me feels more alive than I do, but I ignore the impending gloom and read on. Anyone watching would see a picture of a pleasant afternoon- I cannot stand it. Looking like I should be satisfied makes the dissatisfaction all the more uncomfortable, but it cannot be helped. And I don’t want it to, anyway. The deeper this story takes me, into the folds of my dog-eared pages, the less the sun bites my skin, the less the sand itches my toes and the less your words can hurt me.
I am good alone-
I cannot relate to your
constantly full house.
to any self-respecting
magic love potion.
What would I say, if I saw your friend here tonight? We both know you are gone, but we don’t know that we both know. Would I assume? Would he assume the same of me? Would he ever come here without you? I did, so he might.
You are the one who told me about this place, this place I had been looking for since moving to our fair city. The most successful outcome of a networking event- we only talked to each other and the friend who introduced us. You were so easy to talk to, so friendly, so at ease in your own skin that I wondered why you bothered to talk to us at all. Surly there were more interesting people in the building, but you talked only to us. We swapped business cards, because that’s what you do when you have them, and went our separate ways. Then nothing, as is usually the outcome of gatherings pitched for meeting people. Nothing for a month, then an email. “Hey! Tonight this is happening [link]. You should go! Best,” So I went, and I loved it. Stories and poetry and all that jazz. You were there, we talked as easily as we did the month before, as if we’d known each other for more than a few hours over wine in a village learning place, and your friend was there too. He was nice, the three of us got along. Then we parted ways till the next month. The second Tuesday of each month we met, at the same event, your friend in toe.
I enjoyed our once-a-month friendship; it worked for us. A lot happens in a month, so we always had plenty to talk about. Maybe all friendships should be on a monthly timetable. I convinced you to apply for a job where I worked. You had an interview scheduled for the Friday a week after you died, which made the news even more unreal. How could you be dead, when you’re interviewing this week? How could you be dead, if I just texted you “Are you here? It would be great to see you!” How could you be dead when you were always more alive than the rest of us?
Once-a-month friends are just as valid as the ones you see every day. I am still sad you’re gone, and once a month you’re still right there in the coffee shop, in my head. I think if your friend ever came back, he would look at me and know. I imagine we’d see each other from across the room, and elbow our way to one another. We’d hug; probably a little longer than strangers normally do, but what else can you do, really? I don’t know if we’d talk about you, I hope that we would, I think that we’d have to. And life would go on the way it seems to be now, and on and on and on. This thing that brings me joy, stories and poetry and all that jazz, is all thanks to you, and has you written into every moment.
A pretty girl sat in front of me, her long brown hair draping over the back of the seat and near my knees. Tangled near the back of her ear, sticking together a cobweb of locks was a banana sticker. I tapped on her shoulder before I picked it out to warn her I was about to touch her hair.
“Excuse me, there’s something in your hair.” She laughed as I picked it out, trying not to pull her hair out with it.
“Is it a fruit sticker?” she asked as I handed it to her.
“I wish I could say that was the first time this has happened.”
You opened the knife
For the first time, carefully
And cut through your hand.
The space between your
fears, your desires and the
world of fun therein!
In the forest of
work, I can not see the end
only more spreadsheets.
Sick of haikus yet?