In a sea of infinity, they managed to carve out some privacy. And while conversations around them drown theirs, their words are the only things they can hear. He’s nervous. Of course, he is. Because it’s been a while since he can hold a conversation with someone of her magnitude. Not that the others were a waste of time, it’s just they’re not her. They’re what he had to go through to get to her. They were the things that got him to the thing. Not obstacles. They’re never reduced to that. It’s just that, in this moment, everything he went through seems to a precursor to this one. Without the others, he wouldn’t have made it to the here and now.
Their conversation is about nothing. The best ones usually are. He smiles; she returns it. Her hand brushes his. The air escapes his lungs. For a moment, panic sets in. The idea of someone touching him, albeit accidentally, is enough to set him off. There’s an anxious moment. Sweat begins to push up through the pores of his forehead. Though he’s been in here for a short while (and it is his first visit), he already has all the exits memorized just in case he needed a quick exit. Such as the panic attack that can push through from the skin-to-skin contact of another human being. Regardless of how attracted he is to her.
But it doesn’t come. The panic subsides. Evaporates into the cool night air. The party fades into nature. They’re standing on the street. He wonders exactly what any of this means. He takes her into his arms. It’s become source of comfort. Being this close to each other. To feel her warmth. To know that he’s human, though not a complete.
He contemplates the gravity of her. Of the situation. He doesn’t understand it. Maybe he doesn’t need to. Or maybe he isn’t supposed to. Most likely, he doesn’t care to. Because the empty moments of nothing conversations mean everything to him. And for the moment, maybe this is all he needs. Or wants. But he isn’t fooling himself.
World’s such a big place when you spend your childhood looking up, searching the faces of strangers looking for familiarity. And I spent a lot of my time looking for you in the eyes of others. Wasted my youth reaching out for your hand when you kept pulling away. There’s no evidence of your departure as nothing circumstantial proves you were ever here.
Spent my teenage years writing poetry, reciting the lines and practicing all the words I wanted you to hear. Thought about all the birthdays you missed, all the phone calls you never made. The fishing trips we never had. The trip to the zoo that never happened. The look on your face when you taught me to drive, and the smirk spread across it as I cut myself shaving for the first time. I think about the day that when you met the love of my life and how several years down the line, you met my son for the first time. Think about the moments we should have had, and how’d I be a different man if only you were a strong enough father to teach me all things I needed to learn.
When I offered you a seat at my table, you refused to take it. I did my best to mend what you let break. Wondered if I’d spend my adult life much like my childhood, begging for the affection and attention that should have been given freely. Promised not kill myself for a man who wanted of me. Promised that my son would never know that need. That he would never wonder if his father loved him. That he would never have to steal glimpses of me.
Once, I sped to the front yard after seeing your truck drive by. Couldn’t remember the last time I saw your face. Except it wasn’t you. Never was. And I think about those days, wondering if this may be our last chance to say our proper goodbyes. In a perfect world, I would have been looking up at your face, not searching for it. In a perfect world, you’d know the type of man I grew up to be and wonder if you had some part in it. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t be wondering how I’d feel if I lost you permanently.