Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What I used to do

"Do you want a coffee?" I asked softly, looking up at his face, watching his sparkling blue yes glow with energy.
"Yeah, I'll go get one."
"I'll get it for you," I offered, half standing up.

He used to let me buy his coffee for him. He didn't this time. He stood up and walked to the counter, taking his messenger bag with him. I'm not sure why he took it with him. I would have watched it. Maybe he thought I would look through it. I wouldn't have. I guess it wasn't important. While he was at the counter I practiced counting, forgot to breathe, became conscious of the fact that I wasn't breathing, started to freak out, and then he returned. I don't know if I started breathing then or forgot about it.

"D-d-did you just get a drip coffee?" I asked.
"Yeah." He sat down.
"I thought you used to drink lattes."
"I used to."

We used to do alot of things. I used to do a lot of things. I tried to remember them. When I was little I used to pick up rocks, take a picture of them, and collect those pictures, because I didn't want to collect the rocks. I liked rocks. I liked parts of the earth that never seemed to die. One time I did a huge easter egg hunt and I picked up eggs. There were hundreds of other children. It was for some big community party. It was supposed to be a competition, who could collect the most eggs. I had cried when I lost. My parents don't remember this.

"So, what is new?" I asked.
"Nothing. Just, you know, trying to not kill myself," he said. He pushed his glasses up his impossibly handsome nose. He wouldn't make eye contact. I thirsted for his smile.
"No, don't say that...." I spoke so softly I barely made noise. I cleared my throat but no more noise came out.
"Fine. I won't talk."
"No, that's not what I'm saying! Please talk to me! I-I'm so lonely and I need someone to talk to me."
"Well what do you want me to say?"

I remember the easter egg hunt had been at a golf course. My parents dressed me up in a pretty pink fluffy dress for Easter. When I was running through the trees I pretended I was a fairy or an elf or a nymph picking up magickal stones for a spell I needed. Maybe they were crystals. I still like those things but I have to pretend like it's ironic or quirky and not like at 26 I still genuinely really want to be a wood nymph.

"So, how is um... Allysa?" I asked.
"We're not talking about my girlfriend," he said. "Leave her alone."
"I wasn't... I didn't..."

I had been six. I had picked up a small stone that was a pale peach color. I thought it was an egg. I put it in my baskett. I wasn't smart enough to notice the weight difference. I thought it was from a chicken, or a duck, or anything. Rock didn't cross my mind. Yay, another egg! I ran towards the finish line.

"I don't have to deal with this," he said.
"I'm sorry! No! Please stay and talk to me!"
"I have nothing to say to you." He picked up his messenger bag, left his coffee, still full but cold now, and got up.

When I got to the finish line the adult man in a suit with bunny ears was counting the eggs. He took them one by one out of the basketts and wrote the numbers down on a piece of paper. When he got to me he picked up the rock.

"Young lady, this is a rock," he said.
I said nothing back.
"You were trying to cheat."
I shook my head no. I started crying.
"You're officially disqualified."

He walked out the door without a word, faster than he normal walked, faster than he normally used to walk anyway. I don't know if anyone else in the coffee shop was watching or cared.

The adult man in a suit and bunny ears dropped my baskett of eggs to the earth at my six year old feet. I picked up my peachy pink rock. I thought about throwing it into his head. I imagined hurling it with all of my might. I envisioned it going deep into his skull and blood and brains oozing out onto his crisp white shirt, splattering his salt and pepper hair and pink bunny ears with deep maroon. I imagined a gush of squirting red blood everywhere. I let the rock fall to the ground. I smoothed my pink easter dress and ran off into the woods.

I watched him go out the door into the sunlight, take his phone out of his pocket and start texting. He didn't look back at me. I cried silently in the brightly lit room.

I used to do a lot of things.

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