Part I: Hope
I Hope So
“When you find a woman, remember that she’ll probably be smarter than you.”
Because everyone wants to be a fortune cookie. And I want to scream indignantly, “But I am F. Brilliant!” But my mouth is stuffed with pizza. And the girl is gone before I have a chance to say a word. So we don’t have a conversation.
But really I am not F. Brilliant. Because F. Brilliant is someone else. Someone more important. F. Brilliant belongs in a library. But I’m not sure where I belong.
And so I take her advice and tuck it away for a while.
Part II: Apathy
Sing to Me My Dear Apathy
Whisper to me to close my eyes because everything will be better. And scream to me about how you don’t give a fuck. Because maybe then I won’t either.
Because apathy is neither a beginning nor an ending. And apathy is your drug of choice. And apathy is your addiction. It keeps you sane. It drives you mad. And it is this pleasurable thing that scares you the most. But you are not the only one. (If that is comfort.) Because there are others like you.
And it was some years ago now. Drinking at the beach past curfew. You framed your ticket as a reminder of your freedom. In part because you have a sense of humor. But mostly as a reminder that freedom has its limits.
And you remember now, because of the words that you shouldn’t say. Because people say, “Be careful who you say that to.” Though they are only half serious. But they should be serious in full.
Because there are too many stories now. The uncle of family friends killed in post 9-11 violence. My parents at a store being treated like shit until my father went to pay and used his military ID card. Because this indian man with a turban worked for the US government. (Apparently, they needed nuclear engineers for something.) And stories from my sisters, stories of friends, and stories of friends of friends. Ad nauseam.
At some point you will step up. Because it is a simple thing to want to be on the beach sitting around a fire and drinking a beer with friends while watching the waves roll in.
Part III: People
A picture with a caption. And the words aren’t the way I would have said it. But the sentiment is the same. A reminder of the way that we used to build on each others ideas. Because my picture is playful. But his is political. Though they both have a similar feel. I can only hope that in time I won’t need so many reminders.
The girl with the words. Next time we will speak longer. Now that we have finally met. Because I think there is more to say. Because your words seem to fall on the page in a way that mine never seem to. You wrote once about the artist and the muse. (Though I think of you more as a peer or silent mentor.) So I probably don’t need to apologize. For the awkwardness. And for leaving too soon. Because I think you already understand.
And her roommate laughs because he wasn’t following the conversation. But he knows that she has said something. And that I have said nothing in return. He thinks that I am “stumped”. And I think maybe I am too. Because I don’t have any answers. In a conversation that got personal way too quickly.
“She’s a tough one,” I lamely respond. And I get the feeling that they both see that for the bullshit that it is. Because it is one of those nights that you feel transparent.
And the student from Tijuana tries to get back for school in the morning. Because he works at the German restaurant nearby on the weekends. So you find yourself jump starting his car at 2:30 in the morning. At this time when you are trying to jump start your own life. And you think it’s strange how people turn up in exactly when you need them.