Bent Words

Bent Words

September 24, 2017

Distracted, he puts his understanding on autopilot.

"Uh huh."



He hasn't heard me and he needs his hands.

"We'll talk about it later," as though we will see each other, now or later.


I'm her work wife and was the only one from our company that she invited to her wedding. Each day she vents about this and laments over that, changing her mind or modifying her tune when it comes to married life. Now she doesn't know if she even wants kids. She's not sure she likes her friends anymore. Her newlywed husband is buried in video games and complacency.

She is buried, too. Her head above the surface but her heart deeply shrouded in the hands of her best friend at work.

And it's not me.

It's okay for he and I to be her friends here, during regular business hours, but we are like children's toys -- put away for the weekend -- out of sight and out of mind. Until we meet again on Monday...

"My husband doesn't like you," she'll say, the statement stinging.

He gets angry on the blue moon occasions that we go out together after work; just me and her. And him. But it's not me getting her drunk. It's him. I'll take the blame, though, since she cannot tell her husband that he is buying all her drinks, Christmas gifts and lunch.

I'll pretend for another day, another week and another month that I don't see them making time for each other.

It's 6am and she'll be gone for the rest of the hour, hanging out by his desk before anyone else (besides me) gets to work so no one can comment on the meeting. Her and I will talk later but each sentence seems to be hacked into by his little pop up Skype screen, dividing her limited attention from my pathetic daily updates.

She lingers for him. Elbows him playfully. A slight touch thickening the tension in the already heavy air. She never says he's joining us but, whenever we go out to lunch, outside for a walk or into a meeting, I can expect him to join us soon.

He's always there.

And I am the excuse she needs, the reason it's okay, the scapegoat.

"I"m going out with Laura," she will say.

But is he ever mentioned?


Our 20-year High School reunion.

One day away and I'm invited (for the first time) in last minute fashion.

"You should come," they say, as though they know what for.

We weren't friends then and we sure aren't friends now so I'm not certain if this is a joke.

Not nostalgia but this brings about memories.

Dodging rocks and crayons hurled out of bus windows. "Four eyes," "Metal mouth," and "Look at that rat's nest in her hair!"

Hate letters that got only me into trouble.

They were my friends before they were enemies but I don't know what changed.

"Don't be so paranoid," my father writes.


Definition = baseless or excessive suspicions of the motives of others.

Yep, you got me. All those days spent in the nurses quarters at school during art class feigning a stomach ache so I wouldn't have to be picked on the entire hour was me being petty and paranoid. Ditching school on the regular so I could quiet the whispers, paranoid. Not talking to any of my classmates since 1997, paranoid. Not receiving an invitation that I would reject were it sent, old address or new, paranoid.


None of you know. None of you care. None of you listen.

"Let it go."

"Move on, Laura."

"Drop it already."

Wrap up my worries in a one-sentence, three-word bundle.

I will refrain from reaching out but continue to listen. We will eagerly crowd around your little world, cupped delicately in your hands, and continue to evaluate the status, whether nothing or everything has changed.

Dismiss me.

We can talk later so please shove me aside.

Disregard my dismay, downgrade my fears -- with a slight flick of the wrist -- whisk my input away.

Continue marching blindly forward convincing yourself that nothing's wrong because you're not sleeping together. Stifle my thoughts before you get scolded (for what the fuck do I know).

But then keep it the fuck out of my face.

Go to something different somewhere else.

I'm fine here alone.

My pen and my paper, my monitor screen, my flashing black cursor and all of my memories.

We're all good...

Written at 6:13 a.m.