We were eating breakfast. Not really breakfast, since I was eating a grilled-cheese sandwich and he was eating fries, but it felt like breakfast. So that's what I'll call it.

He had been away all weekend and I felt like I would burst by the end of it. I know it sounds silly and girly and stupid, but it's true. Whenever someone mentions his name I get all giggly and melty like a sixteen-year old cheerleader. I feel even dumber because he's quiet and introverted and just wouldn't appreciate that kind of thing.

He didn't know about the weekend I'd had. He didn't know how I thought I might be going crazy, and how I almost got hit by a car because I couldn't stop staring at it, and how I had to run out of my Literature lecture because I thought the walls were caving in on me. I was saving all of this until I had finished my sandwich, because I would lose my appetite once the story started. So we talked about dogs instead.

There was a quiet moment. Not an awkward silence - with him, these did not exist. Sometimes he would stare quietly into the distance like he was thinking about something way cooler than anything you could ever understand, and then come back to earth a few minutes later. It was nice, this silence. He knew how to frame his words. And then he turned to me, out of nowhere, and said (with a little smile that made me want to kiss him right there, even though I had bread in my mouth):

"Look at you. You're squirming in the crushing grip of reason."

And he was right.

I almost choked. I hadn't told him a damn thing, and he was right. He had a way of saying it that made it sound bigger than everything else in the room, like he was making a mockery of his own words, not being painfully intellectual and trite like it sounds coming off of a page. Like he was joking but secretly not. So what do you suppose I did? I ate my grilled-cheese sandwich and I squirmed. Because I didn't need to say anything else to him about it. He knew already. He knew how scared I was. What good is a conversation when the words have already been spoken in your minds? It's a big fucking waste of space. That's what it is.

I am sitting on his bed, and he is telling me a story.

I am sitting, and he is spinning verbal menageries and lines that would make the devil cream. They swirl with our cigarette smoke and underlying innuendos, dancing across the hazy air like flamenco on an invisible promenade, straight through me.

We drink deeply, enthralled, and he continues.

He speaks in turquoise, cerulean, magenta... whiskey amber, and delicious hyperbole, each breath laced with nicotine and lucid dreams.

He never stops.

Every day is an empty page and a new stick of dynamite; somehow the ink always drips, and he lights the fuse...

...takes a long, releasing drag, grandiose, and he continues.

I am floating in a gondola over the New York skyline, rooftops in Brooklyn... legacies lost, and he picks them up again.

It's not a matter of plot, catharsis, and comedy, character developments, dangling participles... he is words and wonder coated in fabulism and a thin candy shell.

He has this lousy habit of making people fall in love with him.

I have no idea why he's surprised.




for Jack.

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