This right here is a confession, a concession, a thought…call it regression, but for what it’s worth, it feels good to release these words.
I pick and prod at them.
My Mother always says “be careful with your words, they are the only thing you can never take back.”
So, I sit…right here.
“Every market has a mad man, I like that proverb,” you say. It’s five o’clock and your tie is loosened, your eyes are weary, but we both know you will stay up until midnight. So, you reach into your pocket…and look at me “No, I’ll not drown in cancer thanks to you.”
You laugh. You always laugh when I say this, but I am the one who knows that you puff at least six times a day…when a smoke becomes your meal, your break from the world, your alone time…you say you’ll come for counseling.
“How do you do it?” You ask, but right here…it feels like every word I say will be used to judge me, to hold me accountable for your expectations of me.
“Let’s get married on your birthday,” you say…but your eyes are focused on the people downstairs, a woman in a blue dress, pulls it up above her knees as she sits on a bodaboda. I know you are looking at me. I know you have always been looking, but when will you see me?
“Is that a ‘no’?”
I think of all the answers that could be further than a ‘yes’ but even a ‘not right now’ is not sufficient, so I say what comes to mind. “Have you ever wondered why it is easy to speak but difficult to listen?”
“I’ll take that as a ‘never ask that of me again,’ and yes, I have. You make it difficult for me to be around you, your walls are so high up, I’m dying just thinking of how to scale them. But, what’s a guy got to do? It’s 2019, who knows maybe 2022?”
We laugh and you reach for my hand. You have a philosopher’s fingers, you reach into your pocket again and I take back my hand. You laugh.
“It’s the smoking…”
I look around and find my eyes in yours and you smile. “You are like a leaf, sometimes you are so refreshed you are borderline green, but sometimes you give off the feeling of being wilted beyond redemption, but you have to give me a sign some time, if not now, today, tomorrow or the day after that…I promise I’ll quite being grumpy.”