Warnings: Is semi-stream of consciousness a warning? Well, it should be... Like, two curse words and what could possibly be depressing thoughts.
I see him sometimes, when he comes in. Always late at night. (Early morning. No Mrs. Fraley, I don't have my thesis paper...) He never sees me, of course, because I'm never there. I'm never anywhere anymore, unless he's there. He's never there unless I'm not. We talk; he never listens; I never try. We fail. He fails. I fail.
He fails to make it to bed. (Change my sheets, Jenkins, I can't seem to do it myself.) The couch, dim lights. I see myself in you. In the mornings, when I stare blankly in to the mirror ($375. Limited time only! I want you, she said.
I want you, he said. Credit card, sir. Fake smile.
I love you.
For a limited time only.)
I want to reach out, and trace those narrow cheekbones, pressed desperately into the money hidden armrest. I want to run a hand over those eternally stiff shoulder blades, wash away his worry (his pain). But I can't. I won't.
I want to say saltwater
will stain the fabric.
But I can't. I won't.
He cries. Alone, he always cries. But I'm always there.
He smiles. Alone, he always smiles. But I'm...
He used to smile (At me. At them. At the bird. Hello Mr. Bird, can you heal him?) before she left. They say she died, but I know better. They lie, just as she lied. To me (Does that matter?), to him...
She left. She built herself a home six feet under (Bitch! Not far enough.
Not far enough!)
and took his smile as collateral.
I go to him. The other way around? Never. He (does not) sees me. He (does not) smile. He stands and asks about school tomorrow. I answer back. He doesn't listen. I don't try.
Too thin; too thin! I want to scream. Too small! I have watched him shrink as I grow. I'm now taller than him. ("You've inherited your mother's height." "Fuck off.") I grow strong, he grows weak. I look down from my precious few inches (miles!). He blinks. I shudder.
weak - strong
He will kill me.
He sighs; curls up tighter on the couch. I sigh his sigh (his breathe) and turn off the light - I blow out the candle - then turn it back on.
He might need it.
If you had asked me when I was six what I wanted to be, I would have said a rich businessman.
If you ask me now, I will say a multimillionaire head executive of my own company.
Same job, different words.
Because that's all I (he) know how to be.
I (he) love you.
For a limited time only.