I’m Sorry, Did I Break Your Concentration?

“Well how about you tell me what I should be writing,” I say a little too angrily into the too empty space between she and I. “If my writing offends you, if you don’t understand exactly what it is I mean, then perhaps you should ask.” Definitely a statement, not a question.
“Well, what are they about?” She responds a little too quickly. I’ve always been averse to the mindset of waiting your turn to speak, as opposed to actual Listening; actually responding as opposed to an agenda of dialogue.
Sigh. A long, drawn out one through my nose that voids my lungs completely of air; a full 7 second count in my head. I wait, making my body and mind still and empty, focusing myself as my pulse lightly pulls my vision with each beat. “If you can’t figure it out, then perhaps you should leave.” I stand up and walk to the door. I open it, then turn back to stare at her look of shock and obvious anger on her body and all over her face. “Fuck this shit. You’re fuckin weird,” she says as she wraps her red scarf, dulled from too many washings, around her neck. She grabs her purse as she stands; she doesn’t look at me. Perhaps she’s afraid of what she’ll see?
She snorts and shakes her head as she passes my masquerading desk that’s really my dining room table. Her eyes linger a little too long at the cannabis, at the nearly empty bottle of tequila, at the stacks of notebooks surrounding my laptop. Somehow she’s realized how full of me they are; her first true insight breaking her own notions about who she thought I was. She finally sees me for who I am, even though I’ve alluded to nothing else. People really only see what they want, I ponder, as she stomps past me. Her child’s tantrum so humorous I bite my tongue to the point of tears.

And like that, she was gone.

I was going to say something. I was going to tell her about the symbolism I hold near and dear, about how I pour myself into everything, about how I’ve finally found meaning in allowing myself to create these harsh and beautiful nightmares turned reality turned accents in people’s thoughts. I was going to share me with her; walk her along my thought process and lift the veil on where it comes from. The true meaning.

That ended with me shutting the door and turning the lock. My forehead touches the door as I close my eyes and breathe out another 7 second exhale as my body shakes and my eyes get a little too wet as I blink through the tears dripping onto the rooster doormat.

“Goodbye.” I whisper to nothing. “I’m sorry I broke the sweet dream you had of me. The daydream of me you had in your head, that I broke your view of the perfect me with the reality of this hobbled walk, with the cane I lean on for support, with a void inside me I desperately attempt to fill with tequila, with cannabis, with sex, with sarcasm and humor and my hopes and dreams that maybe one day, if only just for a moment, I can truly be at ease…that I shattered that perfect view of me on the pedestal, made of marble and gold and carved in such a way, that maybe one day, someone will finally see me.” Fuck  you I think, as another exhale is forced past my shaking self.

The skin tears free from my knuckles as I slam them repeatedly against the door. I can hear the neighbor’s dog bark at the noise. I do it again and again, smearing blood on the metal door, denting the middle inwards; the only way in or out of my 3rd story apartment. Now everyone can see it when they go to leave, or glance at awkwardly as we enjoy a conversation on a sunny afternoon as the light pools in from the cold, windy skies outside.
I turn around and walk over to my desk. I prepare my brunch by finishing off the tequila. Just a couple of swigs, nothing major.


Setting the bottle aside, I decide against the cannabis, just for now. Another snort as a smirk appears on the left side of my face. “Time to make the doughnuts.” I dive in hungrily to my meal as my fingers begin to type.


©Ramon Sturdivant


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