Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'll make him smile just so I can kill it and eat it

I think I wrote this when I was 16 or 17.

Your number is still sitting next to the phone. Written on a scrap of notebook paper torn out of your math notebook. Part of a math problem is scribbled on the side. I recite the number to myself to see if I still have it memorized: I do. You gave it to me under the guise of working on a homework project together, under the guise of going to see a movie.
The movie was terrible, an action movie with no plot. Upon telling you this you exclaimed, “It doesn’t need a plot, it has action.’ When you asked me if I wanted to go see it, I said yes, not because any interest in the movie, but because I wanted to sit next to you in the movie theatre. I wanted you to grab my hand and we would look like all the other perfect couples scattered about the theatre existing solely so others can envy them.
You didn’t buy me popcorn or pay for my movie ticket. When we sat down my arm sat alone on the armrest, hoping the air felt as cold on your hand as it did on mine. When we said goodbye you dropped me off my house, said, “see you,” and drove off without waiting to see if I had gotten inside.
You drove me crazy then.
Your number is still sitting next to the phone, on the dry, dusty wooden shelf. I can see you inside of your writing. It’s slanted and ambivalent, like when you would sloppily run your fingers along my side. There is an open-ended future written in the numbers. A suggestion of what if.
I have scribbled out your picture in the yearbook. Your face is now a black oval with little white dots where the marker didn’t cover. The necklace you gave me broke. I wore it to spite you. To remind myself that I was merely an investment of a pay check, one that didn’t work out, but I could keep the leftovers.
Once in desperation I thought of calling you. My hand was on the phone. The tips of my fingers touching the scrap of paper containing your number. We were, we are friends, or so we said. But I realized just in time, just as my finger pushed in the first number, the phone admitting a jarring tone, I realized that you don’t care. That I only mattered for a moment and I was left as a freckle.
So I leave your number be. I expect that someday soon my dad will pick it up, ask me if I need it. I will pause, trying to mentally to define the line of what I really need and what I just want. I will tell him no, that I don’t need it, he can throw it out. I would appreciate it if he threw it out.


Martin Powers said...

I thought I'd let you know I really liked reading this.

Tasha said...

Thanks Martin.