Spontaneous Prose, Experiment No. 2

I do not know how to touch you, or rather, I do not know how to begin to touch you, and so we stand, not touching, half a yard apart, angled away from each other, our arms hanging at our sides, exchanging our half goodbyes. I stood here waiting for you outside the bakery bookstore only a few hours before, remembering a podcast about how to look cool waiting for someone. They had the Fonz give advice. I was wearing a denim jacket and while I wasn't holding a book I could have picked one up if I saw you coming. There was one book in particular I wanted to be holding, because I wanted you to read it, because I wanted to buy it for you. In the end we both found our own books and bought them, and this was for the best. We never really said we'd meet at ten but you said you'd text me in the morning and maybe we'd get breakfast at ten and when ten came you texted me and had slept in. I had not slept. But this is because I sleep too much, and would have slept long past any breakfast if I had allowed myself to sleep. When we part ways you seem sad, sad for me, something like pity but altogether not like pity. This is how it was the last time we said goodbye, and this was how it was when we met this morning. It is a tenderness. And maybe that is enough. Your sadness is unapproachable, and I feel only an ebullient hope. There are no long silences in our conversation but our words are sparse, and I cannot always hear you. You ask me to come outside with you like you are a child with a secret and it excites me like it did the first time we met, even though I know you are only asking me to join you for a cigarette. Here we stand at a greater distance than we will stand when we part, and I find myself sweating through my jacket in the sun of a warm December day, the sort of day I remember most Christmases being. There is a burning and then at some point it comes to an end. We pass by the sale tables outside the bookstore, and I leave a certain book unmentioned, or maybe I mention it, but we don't stop to take a look. A Marquez is on sale, and this diverts us for a moment but it is a hardcover and this is when I learn you have nerve damage. Once you said you wanted to be a Kerouac or maybe a Didion but it hurt too much now to write and I didn't know what you meant, but not knowing it sounded very poetic, and so I liked the sound of it. Because there is a melancholy about you I do not understand. And maybe it is because for so many years I played the doomed lover that I am so happy to find someone as blue as you. And I am very happy. But I message other people on okcupid. One girl asks me to talk dirty and all I can talk about is cum and I give up. I talk to boys and feel so deliciously gay that I forget for awhile the strange quiet of our conversations and all the things it makes me feel, but in the end that is unforgettable. I find myself after dusk at another bookstore in an unfamiliar part of town, where in between standup comedians and hiphop artists I read a simple poem about an old man in the last days of fall. As the night passes into further night without end I think to leave but then there are two girls who sing and for those five minutes.