My Best Nightmare (An Extremely Overdramatic Rendition)

Good Lord, that’s any second now! This is actually happening?! Park the car, bumper blocking driveway, don’t care, haha, life! Run into the house. Eat the ice cream, eat it quickly, shut off the too-much-sugar, too-many-empty-calories filter. Stare blankly at the mini peanut butter cup that has fallen onto my khaki pants. Refresh the baseball trade rumors website. Refresh. Don’t comprehend the words. Refresh. Make sure to say that. Make sure to ask about this. Don’t think, don’t be dramatic, don’t romanticize the past. Refresh. Wait, he was signed by the Padres? Wow, haha! Make sure to be just the right amount of detached, exude confidence, act like you’re doing well. Don’t forget to mention…

Relax.

Taking a deep breath, I instantly begin again, because I have awoken – no time for restraint. Everything up to this moment has meant nothing. I re-read our old conversations, but I don’t get very far because my eyes are suddenly warm and blurry. I look around the room for distractions only to conveniently notice the receipt from our first liaison. Why do I keep this stuff? I check my email; at least that will be neutral. 52 new messages. Nice, the amount of weeks in a year. The latest is from Francesca’s in the Chicago suburbs: ‘We cordially invite you to celebrate another Valentine’s Day with us.’ My eyes widen for the second, third, and fourth read. Mark as spam, don’t freak out, no such thing as signs, just a coincidence, don’t overanalyze. But why are they emai…

Stop.

Look at the Dali clock. It’s funny. It’s supposed to look like it’s melting, but it just looks like an awkwardly shaped cheap plastic clock that is really hard to read. Look at the framed Dali prints. What are your thoughts on them? Have you ever taken a deep look at a single one? No, not really? Well try this time. Oh no, don’t look at them in the dramatic light. You always do that. Yes, you bought them with her, you spent a lot of time repositioning them in that crazy little underground studio with her, remember cooking there with her? remember taco night? remember when we listened to that song for the first time? remember when you worked on the puzzle for six straight hours and I…

Wait, when did you get here?

My left temple is throbbing. My fingers need a good popping. My lips are chapped. My shoelaces are way too long. But this throbbing, it’s not just in my head, it’s in my throat, in my chest. Whoa. I thought I had eliminated this knot when I left two years ago, but my stomach is apparently capable of reproducing it with the same, if not greater, intensity. Eat more ice cream and shut up. Just fo…

Whatisthat? I stiffen, dropping the spoon. The desk, the house, my whole life is shaken by a singular vibration louder than any previous vibrations in the history of the universe. What was I just thinking I forget it doesn’t matter. Pick it up! Here it is here it is here it is suspend reality live in this moment it’s actually h…

Breathe. Clear your throat.

 

“Hey. How’s it goin’?”

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