Point of View 1

It was on this bench that they kissed. Either she kissed him or he kissed her. She’s not sure how it went. It wasn’t a forceful kiss, or anything aggressive. It was almost a snuggle — a snorgle, as it became — a calm sharing of breath, nose-to-nose, she on his lap, his arms around her, her curled up on his chest, enveloped by cologne and musk and beard, after an hour or two of carefully choreographed social-dance conversational backandforth. They were first in a restaurant and then in a second restaurant, with walks both between and afterward. In September, of course, a warm September, and she had run into him on the walk home. Collided, as it were: two different paths collide. A meteorite coming in hot, and a little bit faster, from up and above to the right, from behind, descending diagonally toward the other, both barreling along; like an in-flight refueling, hovering up and down, back and forth, slowly approaching, slowly approaching; rocketing along at-speed. She saw him walking ahead of her and strode up from behind to say hello. She didn’t expect anything of it to come. Just a coworker walking home. Just some chitchat. Why not say hello? He’s my coworker. They were going in the same direction, anyway. However, as it turned out, it was here, on this bench, an hour or two later, that they kissed, tentacles entwined, and that has made all the difference.

 

If she leaves, will she ever come back?

 

Her final three suitcases were already packed, zipped, standing sentry by the door, 21 stories up, down the hall and to the left, at the far end, unit No. 2101. She had shipped the last of the large boxes yesterday. They were waiting at the movers’. The one-room studio apartment was empty, dust kitties in the corner where the under-sofa used to be. She had to meet the realtor to hand over the keys.

 

She looked down at her cup carrier. The watery corporate caffè latte in its cardboard carrying container summed up all the uselessness in the world. Really? A four-dollar latte? A great bellowing emptiness was opening beneath her. The banshee howls were slowly beginning. Why was she leaving? Why did she bother with all this? It happened here, at this spot, on this bench. Why leave? The faux dedication one professes in the face of one’s superiors, simply for the chance to clicketyclack as a cubicle drone, is sickeningly hollow when you realize it. The emptiness was opening larger, as if a human were comprehending the enormity of time. The banshee bellows began to blow as the tears welled up inside. Why did she work here? What was it all for? She had the leads, and had already done one book for her publisher. She didn’t need to move.

 

She binned the drink and called the movers. “Yeah, I need to give you guys a new destination address. No, it’s nearby. It’s just around the corner.”

 

———-

 

It was on this bench that we kissed. Either I kissed him or he kissed me. I’m not sure how it went. It wasn’t a forceful kiss, or anything aggressive. It was almost a snuggle — a snorgle, as it became — a calm sharing of breath, nose-to-nose, I on his lap, his arms around me, me curled up on his chest, enveloped by cologne and musk and beard, after an hour or two of carefully choreographed social-dance conversational backandforth. We were first in a restaurant and then in a second restaurant, with walks both between and afterward. In September, of course, a warm September, and I had run into him on the walk home. Collided, as it were: two different paths collide. A meteorite coming in hot, and a little bit faster, from up and above to the right, from behind, descending diagonally toward the other, both barreling along; like an in-flight refueling, hovering up and down, back and forth, slowly approaching, slowly approaching; rocketing along at-speed. I saw him walking ahead of me and strode up from behind to say hello. I didn’t expect anything of it to come. Just a coworker walking home. Just some chitchat. Why not say hello? He’s my coworker. We were going in the same direction, anyway. However, as it turned out, it was here, on this bench, an hour or two later, that we kissed, tentacles entwined, and that has made all the difference.

 

If I leave, will I ever come back?

 

My final three suitcases were already packed, zipped, standing sentry by the door, 21 stories up, down the hall and to the left, at the far end, unit No. 2101. I had shipped the last of the large boxes yesterday. They were waiting at the movers’. The one-room studio apartment was empty, dust kitties in the corner where the under-sofa used to be. I had to meet the realtor to hand over the keys.

 

I looked down at my cup carrier. The watery corporate caffè latte in its cardboard carrying container summed up all the uselessness in the world. Really? A four-dollar latte? A great bellowing emptiness was opening beneath me. The banshee howls were slowly beginning. Why was I leaving? Why did I bother with all this? It happened here, at this spot, on this bench. Why leave? The faux dedication one professes in the face of one’s superiors, simply for the chance to clicketyclack as a cubicle drone, is sickeningly hollow when you realize it. The emptiness was opening larger, as if a human were comprehending the enormity of time. The banshee bellows began to blow as the tears welled up inside. Why did I work here? What was it all for? I had the leads, and had already done one book for my publisher. I didn’t need to move.

 

I binned the drink and called the movers. “Yeah, I need to give you guys a new destination address. No, it’s nearby. It’s just around the corner.”

 

 

 

 



Categories: Uncategorized

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