Some day we’ll meet. We’ll flirt. We’ll tell stupid jokes and listen just attentively enough to forget all those promises about honesty and intimacy. We’ll touch without saying “let me pick that lint off your sweater.” We’ll spend an hour talking, just talking and thinking “don’t say anything stupid.” We’ll make excuses to find ourselves in the same apartment. We’ll fall on top of each other before we get the door open. We’ll undress before the door closes. We’ll bite and claw and moan at all the right times.
When we’re sweaty, we’ll remember. We’ll remember all those secrets we can’t share. All the old lovers we can’t forget. We’ll remember the loneliness. We’ll remember the promises. We’ll grope and bump and say sweet things; we’ll wonder what someone else–the one that made us whole, made us right, made us happy–is doing. You’ll fantasize. I’ll recite prime numbers.
We won’t talk. We’ll compliment. We’ll lie. We’ll say all the things they say in porn. We’ll tell personal stories that stopped being personal in 1997. We’ll say “sometimes I feel like I’m the only person that feels like this,” and be right. We’ll say “I know you’re thinking about someone else, not me,” and we’ll be right. We’ll say “no, you’re beautiful,” when all we want to say is: “please get out of my bed so I can get some sleep.” Maybe we’ll wake a bitch roommate.
Neither of us will say–“I don’t know you but I’d say I love you if I did,” or “so tell me about yourself.” We’ll know better. We won’t hate each other. I’m just not ready for a commitment. It was nice. Give me your number. I’ll call you. I’ll see you. Get some sleep.
So let’s meet. I’ll say you’re beautiful and you’ll laugh at my stupid jokes. We can fuck and never speak again.
Some day we’ll meet. You’ll be beautiful. You’ll be so beautiful that I’ll get your number that moment. You’ll make me like sappy love songs. Maybe I’ll ask you out. Maybe I’ll talk a little too much about Iggy Pop or Genghis Khan. You’ll be friendly, but only friendly. I won’t notice.
When I see you again, I’ll become tongue-tied. I’ll hate myself. When you say something nice, I’ll get excited. When you say something stupid I’ll love your humanity. When you talk about football or baseball I’ll think that you’re cool even though I loathe sports. Every month I’ll discover some new reason to want/love/desire you more. I’ll convince myself that I was getting over you before I learned about your McDonald’s franchise dream or the fact that you really wear green contacts. I’ll stare at you in a crowd until everyone notices. I won’t understand why you’re trying to get me off the phone so fast. I’ll email you and take great courage from three-word replies.
I’ll talk at you when you’re not there. I’ll talk at you when I don’t imagine your eyes waiting for something better. I’ll talk at you and tell you all the things that I wanted to say to you for so long. I’ll tell you about my past, my future, my dreams, my back hair, my comic collection and my car. I’ll make fun of little old ladies in electric motor carts and you’ll laugh–in my imagination you’ll laugh. You’ll find Superman, Batman, Puccini and Jet Li fascinating. You’ll listen to my lecture on the history of punk and Katerine of Aragorn.
When I see you, I’ll speak too fast. I won’t say anything. I’ll ask about your week as if I care. You’ll say fine or good. I’ll have nothing left. I’ll sit in the corner and drink; watching you with Chad or Bert or Yitzi. Everyone will be funnier, richer and better looking. I will compose internal monologues on why I’m better. Maybe I’m not smart or funny. Maybe they’re better looking. Maybe everything but I’m loyal. I love you and I’ll love you long after they leave. You don’t have to worry about me getting fat because this is how I look overweight. I’ll never speak these little speeches.
Then you’ll run away once too often. One of your friends or my friends will say cool it, back off, take it easy; with my self-worth wrapped up in your approval, I’ll crash into stupidity. I’ll apologize or I’ll write a note. If I’m lucky I wont send it.
So let’s meet. Let me scare you before I finally back the hell off. Some day we’ll meet. I’ll love you and bug the shit out of you. Then I’ll get over you.
Some day we’ll meet. I’ll call you. You’ll call me. One of us will stop calling and the other one will get the hint. Maybe we’ll fuck.
Some day we’ll meet. We’ll talk. What happens next is a mystery because it will be for good or for a good long while. There’s no road map here. Happy couples can’t predict other couples’ success. Tolstoy was bullshitting you. Happy love affairs are unique. Unhappy ones are dreary.
And it will probably end badly.
Tim Lieder owns and operates Dybbuk Press which has recently published God Laughs When You Die by Michael Boatman. As a fiction writer his stories have been published in Whispers of Wickedness and Fly in the Amber.