Bent Words

Bent Words

July 14, 2007

Signs that you were here litter the driveway behind my car. An empty can of beer, a fully finished cigarette and the idea of a note you never placed upon my windshield.

I thought about you standing there. The street light above my car burnt out, the darkness a touch above average and your body leaning against my trunk – legs crossed at the ankles. Your head kept down, your eyes squinting against the smoke rising past your face, a slight sigh in between the memories of you and me and me and you.

I could have sat there with you. I could have hopped onto the back of the car, tucking my legs beneath me and studied you in silence. Your hair disturbed after a long day, your chiseled jawbone tensing, and the sound of the weight of your fingers bending the can within your hand.

I could have told you about so many things. The countless names we share in our phonebooks and how they’ve all asked after you – “Do you have his number?” “Do you know is e mail address?” “Would he mind if I called him up to say hello?” And I would ask you why you have not called them and wonder if they were ever real enough to care about anyway. I’d tell you about how your name is mentioned no less than once a week. It will pass my lips or someone else’s and, no matter what I’m doing or when I am, it always gives me pause.

I could have asked how you were doing. I would have listened. Forever, if you needed it, or for just a moment if that’s all you had.

But I never saw you, sighing in the moonlight, reaching out in silence. I just saw the signs that you had been here…

The burn mark in the linoleum.

The spot on my white kitchen wall which you leaned against, shifting nervously.

A misplaced picture, a poster, a birthday card (‘You’re 3, you’re 3, you’re 3!’), a note I cannot throw away.

An empty beer can in parking lot and a fully finished cigarette – which could have been left behind by anyone…

Written at 4:41 p.m.