I. Trying on an old suit, to see if it still fits.

Women walked past him on rubbery legs. Their back-forth sway leaving nothing to be desired; their bodies teeter-tottering down the street. Somewhere in the sky he was sure that wars raged and songs were sung both in victory and defeat, honoring the fickle results. Here at his feet, just the same. An endless battle cry.

Across the street, he knew he had a problem. He could visualize it; taste it thick in the back of his throat; it tingled his third eye. The realization that a proverbial set of cross-roads hung in the balance, four-dimensional-like, held no end to irritation for him. Who the hell asked for mid-life-crisis damage-control at the age of 29? "Not I, said the Frog!" Not while he had no intention of passing himself off as a Princely prick.

But 'change is inevitable,' so the drowsy people say, too stoned to not let it happen to them. Again and again. And again, again. He never asked to evolve, doing so always just seemed to roll into life and back out all at once, without ever giving him a chance to protest. And so it goes, the changing happened; he'd let down his guard and the stones swept in and knocked all his doubts on down. His proverbial barriers disintegrated like the faceless, formless theories they all along remained - not standing and then falling so much as shifting outside existence's own idea of them. And anyway, he can't say he's anymore sober than the next guy. Or gal, for that matter.

In any case, she sat across the street. Behind that front desk; atop that rigid redwooded chair. And behind her, atop the stepping stool the two used to re-shelve books, he was sure stood the other her. The her whose heart he'd have to break, sooner than even he preferred. Or so he thought, hoped, expected, understood would likely be the case. But then, you never know with people, do you? Even those people about whom you know everything else.

Perhaps every heart-break breaks differently, no matter how many times one's heart is broken. For all he knows, she'll learn to use it against him as a way of gaining some inward advantage in the face of her newest new life - the one she'd soon be living without him. Or maybe she'd crumple like a tipsy teenager, all the way into herself, while watching her prom date suck face with the high school whore. Or fade away as already gone as today's front-page headliner, into the void of ever-hungry boredom.

He wondered which form of heartbreak could seduce his own heavy heart back in love with hers. He wondered whether it was worth it. He supposed it didn't much matter, either way. Soon, he'd be going in.

-L (1/25/12)

No comments: