Today I am wandering. I’ve driven far out to the countryside, so close to the ocean that I can smell salt in the rain. I don’t know where I am except that it’s warm here and dry, and my waitress’s face is scrubbed, hipster-fresh, framed by a soft tangle of curls at the temples. The table is thick with lacquer and in my palm is a hot cup; on the glossy surface of my coffee, I can see the lights from overhead and the letters on the window, a scene in slanted miniature, obscured by a fog of steam. From behind the counter, a tinny radio is playing a song from a band I can’t name . . . between the drinks and subtle things, the holes in my apologies . . . but I tap my foot more in impatience than sympathetic rhythm.
What the hell am I doing here? Why can’t I be who I want to be, when I want to be so much more. Only selfish people spend so much time alone, because we can’t bear the interruptions to our trains of precious thought. We only want to watch, and remain coyly uninvolved. We sidle up closer, not out of craving for love and human contact, but out of an ugly, relentless curiosity at your expense. You’re on my stage, hipster chick, with that smooth cheek and ratty shoe, and I’ve got no pity for your bitten nails or the way you tug your sweater down, because what matters to me is the story you’re living and how I can warp it to fit into mine.
If I could be anything I would be invisible, and I would follow you.
Do you owe an apology, and would you give it if you could?