Amid offhand pissing contests, stories about the more unbearable depression, there you were in the canopy, languid amid the apples of my eyes. When I saw you I told you,
“Seeing you is like hearing bells ringing.”
All you were willing to try was refilling my coffee, was trading a tale of unromantic origins.
You and I fell from the same mold, this is what I was thinking.
“You and I were shipped to the same big box retail giant, Saran-wrapped into the same forklifted pallet, returned in the same consumer recall, implicated in the same class action lawsuit,”
Is what I said.
You weren’t not unsure of how to respond, but you also just didn’t seem concerned while I remained conscious of my elephant gun clumsiness, my proletarian design features, my reaching for an acceptably unhaughty demonstration of the goodwill toward couture while still remaining able to stay in touch with my relatives.
No more coffee, no more small talk, all this caffeine and frustrated ambition makes me fart, and I want to control the airs I put on for you. You, who sit in disdain of all effort as you foil me.
“If this is really all there is, if that is the case,” you say with a tired heft of your eyelashes, “I wish you’d say something to me that doesn’t already contain its own end. I wish you’d stop chasing your tail and match the universe with your ambition. You’re not giving me anything to hold on to, and being cruel and being kind have in common that they can only go so far. I’m becoming irritated at embodying your clichés. I wish you’d tell me your own stories.”
“I quit,” Is what I say as I stand up. “I’ll meet you when your shift is over and we’ll change our names so our last paychecks can never reach us.”
“I’ll never be able to serve you coffee again.” You pretend to be saddened to inform me.
“I’ll never have to build time for longing into my day again.”
“Yes,” you say, “You’re getting it. Now tell me again about bells ringing. Now I’ll know it’s true.”