Just a Story about Waiting
The door was still partly open from her slamming it on the way out. She’s cute when she slams doors, because compared to someone who’s really upset, she practically closes them gently. I’m sitting here on the couch, this old crusty thing with the springs sticking out and the smell of cat pee or worse, looking at that crack in the doorway, wondering if she’s coming back through it today.
She’s upset because I don’t look at her the way she looks at me. I look at her all of the time, mind you. I watch her sleep and I watch her through the foggy shower door and I stare at her ass as she burns dinner and I follow her clicking heels as she moves across the bar to the bathroom. When I’m at work I have a webpage with her picture on it that I bring up now and then just to get a look at her. I’ve got her picture in my jacket pocket and a drawing I doodled of her in my wallet. Hell, I even wrapped a piece of her hair into a string of twine and tied it around my ankle just so I could always be near her.
Still, though, when she looks at me, well, I don’t look back at her like that.
And so she takes that to mean that I don’t love her as much as she does me. Before today I suppose I tried to explain it to her in words but what I thought were magickal stringy syllables she apparently saw as formal niceties I was throwing off to reassure her that everything was going to be fine or some bullshit like that. Everything is fine, was fine, will be fine. Or so I thought. But there’s that door, cracked open and hasn’t been walked through all day.
I’ve peered through it a few times, checking to see if she was standing in the stairwell when she first left. Or maybe she was across the hall at our neighbors having tea and bagels and cheese. Or maybe I could just get a glimpse of her coming home. But none of those things is true. She’s just gone, and I don’t know if she’ll be coming back, because she always comes back. Very quickly. I’ve been sitting on this couch for almost eight hours now. You can see the difference here.
I tell myself, “Don’t be silly, she’ll be back,” but can I really be sure? No, I’m not sure. I don’t know anything about this person, when it really comes down to it. I think I know everything about her. She thinks the same of me. But clearly neither one of us really understands the other. I look through things and she looks at them. That’s the fundamental difference here, I tell myself, though I’m not quite sure what it even means. I switch my tense so often I can’t remember how long we’ve been together or if we were actually ever even together at all.
I know how she feels now. After sitting here, waiting for her, just waiting. Waiting. Big yawns waiting and wanting a cigarette waiting and twiddling my thumbs waiting and looking back through the crack in the door and you get the point waiting. I’m always keeping her waiting.
But in my defense, well, there are bills to pay. And company to entertain and family to chat with and floors to scrub and joints to smoke and…
I don’t have much of a defense. Not once I try explaining that to her and watching her eyes turn into animï¿½ bubbles and slightly tear up. She drops all of those things for me because she knows that if she isn’t the one to drop them, then neither of us will, and so we’ll never get to be together. Which is all that she wants.
It’s all I want too. I just want it while I’m doing other things, as well. Can’t help but laugh at myself a little after that one. I can’t explain who I am, and that’s my problem. All I need to do is give her one solid thing to hold onto and figure out, but I keep changing my mind, my opinion, my wants and my needs. I’m just always changing and people don’t change with me. Not at the same rate and not in the same ways. It would be impossible. They’re always struggling to keep up which only leaves them at best one step behind. And then even if they do catch up, well, I’m changing again so it won’t be for long. But I don’t want anyone to catch up, I don’t want anyone to change with me. I adapt my new personality to their existing one but it doesn’t seem to be that easy the other way around.
I’m still sitting here. I have to go to work in a little while. That’s going to suck. Who wants to work when you’re all distressed about the status of your life? I’m shooting a music video for a rock band tonight. That should be fun. Should is the key word here.
Yeah, so I know how it feels to wait now. I wonder if that was the point…?
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