I watched you there, sitting in the small booth. You were sitting in your denim pants, with your arm draped over the top of the bench’s backing, as if someone had been sitting with you, less than moments ago. A thought flashed into your eyes, and your posture became awful, it bent like a string that was meant to resound and hum, but instead twanged and then broke. The way you sat brought the table closer to your chin, and your eyes became watery.
You were gazing into your brown drink. You hadn’t touched the rim yet, hadn’t moistened it with your lips, which hid under a forest of coarse growth.
Did you notice the consistency of the foam in your glass? I bet you the waiter had spat in it. He didn’t like your tone; even as glass with something thrown in the middle.
He couldn’t place it.
Maybe it was melancholy with an aftertaste of maybe. An aftertaste of hope. Or it was an incurable sadness that hadn’t permeated the deepest caves in your lungs. Your heart, I mean.
Did you feel it in your chest? This emotion? Let me tell it to you backhand-style, because I think I understand.
It’s the time when the little boy runs off the cliff - but the mother or father snaps their fingers around the child’s hand. When you open your eyes, the child isn’t what you thought he would be (gone). He isn’t a soul that, with the loss of him has ripped the living, beating heart from your bare chest. He hasn’t. No, no, but the claws have grazed your skin. Still, you live, the child lives. This is because he hasn’t stolen the air from your heart. Your lungs, I mean. When you see him alive, then your lungs swell, swell, swell, then they pop.
Then, and only then, you know you’ve reached your capacity. Ah, but listen now; when joy leaves, it empties a room. The room can get very empty, and cold, like December, and meaningless like July afternoons. The rupture from the pop heals, and where do you go? You know what you’re missing, and you can’t get it back.
There you were, back at the shrinking booth. The foam hadn’t nestled in your mustache - yet-. The waiter turned away. You couldn’t see inside his mind, but your eyes told me the loss in yours.
I sipped my orange juice, all the while wondering how you were, wondering why I like to watch.