Uggh. I can’t believe I’m doing this already. It’s only my fifth post, and I was only going to start using old material when I got really desperate.

Oh well. It’s late, I have nothing, and I’ve gotta wake up early tomorrow (like 10:00!!), so here’s something I wrote quite a while ago.

I like to think I’ve matured some. 🙂

 

 

—~

‘Awkward’
Heythanks.

Hey, no problem, you say with ease, fashionably sunglassed eyes on the road. Your voice is light, easy.

My mind opens but my mouth fails to follow suit. All I can do is smile and then let it fade slowly from my cheeks.

You don’t know what to do with me. I’m a third wheel, extra baggage. How did you manage to get saddled with giving me a ride? I’m not sure what to say, in case it’s the wrong thing.
Or, even worse, the right thing.

And there is no way in hell I’m gonna be the first one to talk.

I like your shirt, you tell me, nodding at me, for all the world looking as if you were sizing me up.

Damn, I was planning on saying the same thing about yours. Now I can’t because it would look like I was only saying it to repay the compliment. Instead I smile and say in a small voice, Thanks.

You look back to the road again.

A song that is stuck in my head disturbs the silence mounting between us. It annoys me, because it is different from yours and therefore cuts me off from any attempt at communication with you.

Your talkative and friendly nature won’t stand for the silence and you feel yourself saying words at this reticent lump of carbon who has attached itself to you.

Your words disturb my song, breaking its rhythm, reducing the melody to dust. For once I am thankful.
But…Your words actually don’t make sense to me. Sorry?
As the word escapes, I wish I could take it back. Why do I have to be so damn formal all the time? What? what? just say what!

You repeat what you said. The joke’s not funny anymore.

I still don’t understand it, but I give you a small, obligatory sort of laugh anyway. It’s the least I can do.

You look back to the road again, scanning for some deliverance from responsibility, or maybe you’re looking anywhere but at me, or maybe you’re just driving. You are inscrutable, unreadable. Even if I could search your face for signs, I wouldn’t know how to read them. They’d belong to another language that I do not know.

Your very seatbelt is slung across your body in a casual manner that says you’re about to throw it off and start dancing.
I look at you and think, did anyone ever tell you how beautiful you are?

After another spell of deafening silence, you reach over and flick on the car radio. This is good. Not only does it free my mind of its own song, which is separate from yours, but also it gives us something to do, something to hear, and something on which to blame our silence.

I don’t want to be staring at you like some creep, so I stare out the window, watching the unknown road race under me.

Oh, I’ve heard this song, I tell the window when the crooning, anonymous singer reaches the chorus. I smile a little.

But you’ve been singing along since the first verse, tapping the steering wheel to the rhythm, mouthing the words at the windshield. You know the song title, and the artist, and all the lyrics, and maybe even the year it came out.

The song ends and a few others play in succession that I don’t know.
You know almost every single one.

Presently a song plays that I recognize almost immediately; I remember dancing to it with my cousins once. A million stories crowd at the front of my brain, start pushing at the inside of my lips.

You turn the radio’s volume up just a bit. Now it’s too late for me to say anything (I’ll never know now if indeed I would have), and if you talked to me I probably wouldn’t hear you, and I’d have to do that whole “sorry?” thing all over again.

I’ve just about given up conversation. I mentally slap myself on the wrist. Didn’t I promise myself that this time would be different, that I’d a least attempt to be talkative and friendly? I wish I could say something interesting, say something to make you like me. I wonder if you do like me, or if you are indifferent, or if there’s a boiling pool of resentment and annoyance directed towards me just bubbling beneath the outer surface of your skin.

Say something to gain your respect. Say something funny and clever. Say something.
Did I ever tell you I wanted to be you when I grew up?
I can’t say anything.

You bring a graceful hand up to brush hair out of your eyes. Your movement is swift and light and if I were to attempt the same thing I would probably end up hitting myself in the eye.

I mean really beautiful, not pretty, or “hot”, or even good-looking. You are unique. You are memorable. You have a twist. You are greater than the sum of your parts.

And we arrive at the school. You park the car, pop the trunk, climb out, close the door. Take out your bag, and wait for me to extract my mammoth backpack. Close the trunk, lock the car. You turn towards me, sunglasses glinting, backpack swinging. ‘Bye, you say, brightly, a little wave-

‘Bye-I’m looking at your fading back-see you later!-

Everything I could have said, should have said, wouldn’t have said, finally finds its way from the empyrean into my mouth, but it’s too late. In another universe, in which I am a different person, I am bringing you back, and my lips are saying things I should have said. So I’ve had this song stuck in my head for ages…you know it? That’s so funny!…I know, right? Gosh–but it’s not happening, not here, and not now, and it’s over, and there’s nothing you or I can do for each other. I’ve failed. I’ll see you ’round.

By the way…did anyone ever tell you how beautiful you are?

 

 

—~

Poetry? Prose? Prosetry? You decide. 😉

 

Advertisements