He looks at me from behind a cup of coffee, across the table from me at a booth in our favorite diner. “What amazes me, dear, is that you can be so good at objective introspection; that you make such a careful, critical analysis of yourself, clearly identifying the disaster looming up ahead of you ... and you still head right for it.

“It’s like a train wreck you see coming miles away, but you’re paralyzed and stay on the tracks.”

Truth when you least expect it is a suckerpunch unlike any other.

And who said I can’t take criticism well?

... Oh right, it was me, and that piece of introspection apparently didn’t help me much either.

“Well ... well, yes. I do, but ... “

This is how I am. I spend my life thinking about tomorrow and the ways I can make myself a bit more the person I want to be. I forget that no one gets to do things under perfect circumstances, and that sooner or later I have to lift my head and give life a shot whether I’m ready or not – that I can’t stay cocooned here forever. ... but I like it here, I say through the waters... that no matter how I attempt to ignore my existence the world is still grinding outside, and I haven’t escaped its attention. That the more I think I’m random girl the more the people who care start to wonder why I’m hiding my head. That the stuttering professor is humbled, not haughty; that the beautiful boy might be shy and not superior to the rat faced girl with the hair in her eyes, getting fatter by the moment. That I’m making up most of this crap. That inaction for fear is slowly driving me insane.

“Well yes, I do, but ...


Pour the sugar in the coffee, look at the floor.

And my knee-jerk response is that I’ll have to think on that one, too. And so I think and think, staring out of the window, ignoring the work that is my only salvation, hoping next year has something else to bring and that one day I’ll sail across the ocean without standing for hours trying to read the waters...


“Well yes, yes I do,“ I answer him. I look up and brush the hair from my face, “I do, but I’m getting better.” And maybe I am, because this I’ll remember. I look out the window again at the darkness.

“After all, I used to dream without endings at all.”