#59

It was just a misdirected arrow, you know. What can I say? Bull’s-eye grew legs and inched to the side. And all I could see, in the center, was goodbye. 

Because there are eleven hellos and goodbyes in a single meeting of our eyes. I said hello, it’s been a long time. You said why yes, hello, I must say so. You look the same. D’you feel the same? I don’t know, I don’t feel any different. I do. Why is that? Because I saw what I didn’t wanna see. 

What did you see? I saw that look you gave that child whining about his broken soldier. I saw the way you looked away when I was honest with you. I didn’t mean to be that way. Of course not. Who does? What I mean is — there’s no need, I no longer think about it; I don’t feel it anymore. But — really, it’s all right. What is it but a bygone parting? 

You’re staring out the window. Hello, there — what are you looking at? Everything. Did you have a nice time? Yes, very nice. I wish I were still there. Yeah, I know. I have work to do. I know. Are you going to stay for coffee? I wonder if you will, if you want to. I don’t know if I want you to. 

If you don’t mind. Hey, remember that day we called in sick because it was raining and we wanted to keep the lights out and watch a movie? Of course. Hello, soggy memories — goodbye, I have no words for you. The usual? Yes. So what have you been doing? 

You know, the same. Just trying to save money. Yeah, me too. I might be working for a newspaper this summer. Oh really? That’s good, right? Maybe. I don’t know. 

Hello, here is your coffee, the way you used to have it. But you forgot the sugar. Well, some things are just forgotten. I didn’t think I’d see you again. Did I want to see you again? I don’t know why you’re here. 

Tastes the same. Why wouldn’t it? My brother will be in town. Why? Just to visit. What will you do with him? Hit the tourist spots, you know the deal, go drinking, nothing special. Why is it always the same? 

I thought we could discuss what happened. Well, goodbye, friend. I don’t know if — I know. I don’t know either. Take care, and maybe — yes, maybe someday.

——

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