You came in right before closing, stumbling that stoned, blinky walk. Staring at all the shiny stuff. You didn't know I was watching. If you had known, you would have felt awkward, but there was no reason to feel anything. You wore a heavy coat and rainbow gloves and the flurries outside had anointed you. The flakes were melting to slow trickles that darkened the gold in your hair.
I didn't see you again for weeks. I wasn't looking, really - I'm not a stalker - you were on my mind, though. One of those snapshots that won't go away - a soft moment that you are allowed to witness with no recrimination. No forced hellos. No teeth-grinding small talk. I saw you like a vision: the snow princess.
When I saw you the second time, you were sitting at a table, eating. There was a guy with you. You were sitting at a ninety degree angle to him. He looked like a nice guy. He was handsome, but he just looked nice. He had one of those wool coats with the barrel wooden buttons and a hood. He seemed like the kind of guy who could sit in on drums and not make a big deal about it. You held hands. I was happy for both of you; I was sad for me.
I started seeing you around more after that. And I saw him, too. Then, I started feeling like a stalker. Not because I was, but because I had built a whole life for the two of you. I'm sure that neither of you noticed me, you had no reason to. But I thought about you. I'd see you at Dolores Park and think stupid things. I should buy them pastries. I never did. I imagined your weekend jaunts and smiled some kind of smile.
I knew when you broke up - it was pretty obvious. I felt like I should say something, do something, make some kind of gesture. I also thought that would creep you the fuck out. I thought, briefly, about making some kind of play. Trying to make you mine. But you were his, whether you were or not. It didn't feel right. I knew it would never feel right. And I didn't want to destroy my creation.
It was all so long ago. You can't help but wonder sometimes, no one can. I can still see your face so clearly. And it is perfect. That face. Eyes deep, lost in wonderment and chill. I owe you, and I hope that things worked out well. I'm happy with the way things worked out, myself. I'm glad that I never had to see those eyes flash anger. I'm glad that we never had a disagreement over coffee. I'm glad I met you, even though you never met me. I'm glad I knew you, even if it wasn't really you.
I love this tangent you've taken in your writing, Dan. The softer side of harsh life. Beautifully realized.ReplyDelete
Thanks Jo. ;) I've always wondered how many people don't know that they are noticed.Delete
This reminds me of the infamous 'couple on the bus' near me - people actually move away when they get on, they kiss and smooch like no one else is there, no one wants to watch that at seven thirty in the morning. Then when they fight, everyone on route 60 knows it!ReplyDelete
I don't want to watch ANYTHING at 7:30 in the morning. ;) Thanks for stopping by!Delete