Wednesday, August 24, 2011

strangers that wave back

There was a guy who was named after a type of metal who was not at all hard. He was one of the few people around when I was going to shit. Even though I'd graduated, I'd go back to the school and haunt it. I was trying to keep busy to survive. Once I was in the bookstore waiting to meet him, thinking terrible darkness, and he parted the seas of people and put big, cozy headphones on my head without a word. Then we gathered his text books for the coming semester to the private tunes of wash out beach music.
I'd swim laps and he would sit patiently in the bleachers and look at pictures of his dog. He would wave at dogs. And strangers from park benches.

I was in that awful place where it hurts to breathe. All the bones come out because the person you liked the best put a reminder of ashes in your mouth. One afternoon I made him read the kiss-off letter and he said, "This is really personal. You shouldn't show this to people." But I thought he'd have insight into that kind of hurt. Turns out he didn't; instead he flatly told me that the city was full of beautiful people and that one was no more special than the next. At first I thought it was harsh, but when you begin to believe one is more special is when it takes a turn.

I've thought about not showing it to people. Not the letter, but the hurt. No one can help you, and no one wants to think about the unromantic, uninspired truth: that one person is no more special than the next. It could be anyone, anyone.