An attempt at poetic fiction.
There are years of words to be inserted in this slot.
The nights when you came into my room to fiddle with the typewriter and casually forgot your beverage on one of the book shelves.
When you would sit on that chair in the yellow room, in a furious quiescence, I knew that you were waiting for something or someone to arrive: X, or practice, or a text message, or Y, or Z.
The one night we were in the car, just the two of us. Without provocation, you began to talk about how you didn’t think it ideal to live with X, but that it was the best practical solution. You were talking a lot that night, I soon started hoping you would stop so that I could turn up the radio.
One day, you sent me an email saying that Y will be visiting, and that you offered for her to stay at your place. You asked me how I felt about it, but after you had already decided what you would do. I may have cared more if I wasn’t at the time visiting Z and fully absorbed in that.
Knowing what to anticipate, you said that I am too analytical, and said it like it’s a bad thing. It makes you uncomfortable you told me, and I knew you were telling the truth because you became florid as you said it, your eyeballs moistening with sensitivity.
Do you still close your eyes when speaking, or look in a sideways direction? Eye contact was too intense of a commitment, wasn’t it? Sometimes, it was easy to look at your face; other times, there was something about it that bothered me, like an invisible veil in front, or like it was hiding behind four secret doors.
Your skin was softer than mine—arms and legs thinner, too. I remember feeling your forearms and the texture that the surface veins gave to them. I also remember eating your yogurt for breakfast every time I spent the night. I’m sure this was fine—you could have had whatever you wanted of mine.
So you took a cigarette out of the pack in my mailbox and replaced it with a rolled-up dollar bill. Having not asked permission, you told me after the fact. I didn’t care much about this, but I cared about the fact that you knew I wouldn’t care. Intimidation didn’t work for you, at least not in front of me and as far as I could tell.
The second to last time I saw you, I was walking from the shop to my car and you were talking with Y in some corner of the parking lot. I could tell you liked her when, after sex one night, you started to ask me what I thought of her (this because you were trying to figure out if I like women. I don’t think that I do).
Before I left, we had the idea of starting a gossip magazine. That was the most complete conversation we have had to date. But the magazine never came to fruition, and I haven’t spoken to you about it since the night you sprayed me with a water gun of scalding water, then offered a pair of dainty leather gloves as an apology.
I’m sad to have lost those gloves.