He got married,
The boy, the one who said,
I don’t want to be with just one woman,
I don’t do well with those kinds of commitments.
Why are those the hardest to take, I should be happy for my now friend, my former lover, who I know still is attracted to me. I don’t even want to be with him.
He didn’t tell me, warn me,
Even though we made plans together on our birthday.
Did he propose?
I would have given them a gift goddamit.
Were his kids there?
Did he tell her he loved her?
Is this envy? Sadness? Judgement of myself? Contempt?
I can’t even name it, all the feelings go by so quickly.
Why was he in a blue suit?
What do I do now when he dirty texts me? Will she look into his phone?
I asked my friend,
How he deals with that kind of thing,
When an ex gets married,
After telling you something different,
Realizing it was you all along, that they didn’t feel that way about, just you.
He said he categorizes, not compartmentalized, categorizes.
He said there are buckets he sorts things into,
Hurts or not hurts.
I asked him which one I was in?
He didn’t give me an answer.
And she looks just like me.
He liked me because I was his type.
That feels so degrading, to be liked for your body type, so inhuman,
The person inside doesn’t really count, no, not really, it’s just those thighs.
To see someone who looks just like me,
In the white.
When he wouldn’t even tell his friends about us, were we an us?
Why did she have to look just like me? How rude.
What if all that time ago,
I’d given him the other reading,
The other tarot reading,
The one he made the decision based on,
The one he used to get back with her.
What if I had told him instead, the cards said to get back with me.
Would I have been enough?
Or would we not be together, because I wouldn’t have pushed him,
Pushed him for commitment.
You don’t have to hear about my day.
Naw, it’s alright.
I remember you said that you just don’t have the energy to listen to me or deal with my problems, you’re too busy.
I’m sold for an extra 50 cents on the side.
You don’t have to tell your parents about us, I don’t need to meet them,
You don’t take us that seriously anyway,
And besides you’re so far away,
That concession is definitely worth, what, a dollar?
And it’s money you care about at the end of the day, right?
You can only take care of your people if you have your money, right?
How much am I worth to you, hmm?
Not even a concession of an evening.
What bottom scraping scraps do you have for me that I can thank you for?
A birthday card?
A pizza you ordered me?
Sure. That’s good enough to live on.
If I asked nothing of you, and said please for each dropped piece of popcorn, I don’t think you’d love me anymore.
I’m not your it.
There is something beautiful about switching on an old computer,
Hey this thing isn’t worthless,
I’m not worthless.
I haven’t seen this off gray color on a monitor in a while.
I have to push in a turbo button to get out of DOS mode.
I haven’t heard those sounds in a while,
It still reads the 3 ½ inch floppy disks.
Maybe it’s half curiosity,
And half proving to ourselves that even if we’re as old as the clanky keyboards,
Someone will still save us.
I’m playing a game with him.
Yes I know that’s a bad idea.
I even know it’s a bad sign.
To see if he remembers to celebrate my birthday.
To see if he cares enough.
I don’t know what I’m proving to myself or him.
I’m just not going to remind him.
I’m not going to bring it up.
Just to see what happens.
Maybe I want the attention and guilt he’ll feel when he forgets,
Maybe I want a sign he cares.
He’ll figure it out quickly after, what, the third call I get that day?
Maybe he’ll say I assume you didn’t want to celebrate it.
Maybe I want the moral high ground clear and fair and square.
Why am I testing him? I don’t know,
Looking for an excuse to leave and be with the curly-haired boy?
I’m not sure.
I want that power over him of knowing he’s forgotten one more thing,
And maybe this one more thing will be the thing he’ll finally start organizing himself for,
My missed birthday for the second year in a row, will be why he finally starts to schedule.
I’m a bad plant keeper,
I don’t check the water or nitrite levels enough
I’m never sure when to fertilize.
“But you care and that’s what matters.”
No, it’s not, keeping the damn things alive probably matters more to them than how I feel.
I killed my friend’s cactus once, I’ve never gotten over it.
Me. Responsible for all that death.
Even plucking the leaves to help it keep its shape.
I turned that brown me. And my deadly fingers.
All I want to do is research,
Says the woman who can’t even do the research she’s paid to do,
Instead she pretends she’s working and hides in her room,
So that the days blur together before the big report is due.
And it’s just like it used to be,
When I couldn’t move for feeling guilty.
Will there be anything I can do without all this muck dragging behind me?
Even brush my teeth?
Your sister is having a hard time,
She called me to say,
Her husband isn’t doing what she knows will help him.
He’s not listening to her.
Not listening to her unsolicited advice,
Coming from a place of comparison not love,
He is a little like me, in that we’d prefer to fail in anonymity quietly, on our own.
Otherwise, leave him alone.
Or wait, is it me I’m putting in that slot,
Me who she wouldn’t leave alone to make her own failures.
Let me fall on my own please.
I too, would like to live.