BARDO Magazine Issue 1 - Page 9

“I don’t usually smoke.” I mumble, the filter between my lips.

“It’s okay, I usually do. I don’t mind.”

“You want one?”

“Sure.”

He sits back. I light his cigarette.

“Pretty ladies can’t light their own cigarettes.” I say as I flick the lighter.

“Oh, why thank you, kind sir! You really know how to treat a 21st century woman!”

I put the lighter up to my cigarette. “Oh, but of course! I’m a modern man, you see—“

His lighter bounces into my frame of view, flicked.

“Pretty girls can’t light their own cigarettes.” he says softly.

Oh my God, I can’t believe he actually did that.

I chuckle out of embarrassment.

“I mean, okay, wow, if you really want to, okay…” I suck in.

He laughs. “I actually can’t believe I did that.”

“Uh, yeah, same.”

We laugh.

“It’s true though,” he looks down. “You are pretty.”

My eyes shift.

“But that’s not it. I just feel like I can talk to you about anything. Like, anything. Like, the dumbest shit that comes to mind anything, and you’ll get it.”

“Yeah, I feel the same way.”

He scoffs to himself. “I feel stupid.”

“Heh, why?”

“Why haven’t we hung out before?”

I smile. “I don’t know… I don’t really like, talk unless I’ve known you for a really long time or if I feel comfortable enough to speak my mind but I feel like that’s kind of rare. Sometimes I can feel left out while I’m with everyone, you know? Like I don’t get all of the jokes, or know exactly who everyone’s talking about from that one time they went to that one thing… Sometimes I just don’t care, and I feel like nobody would care about the things I’m thinking about anyways because it doesn’t have to do with someone we know, it has to do with something I read or something going on in the city… and I’ve always noticed you. We’ve had a couple conversations here and there, but I just felt like you wouldn’t want to hear about the shit I have to say, too.”

“Why would you think that?”

I look up.

“Because…”

“You think I’m like everybody else?”

“Well… you just seemed different.”

“Different compared to what?”

“Different compared to how I know you now. You seemed closed off. I thought I would bother you. I mean, why did you start talking to me tonight?”

His fingers begin to fiddle about.

“Well… you’re leaving. I wanted to talk to you at your going away party. I wanted to get to know you before you were gone. Now, I just… feel horrible.”

“Don’t feel horrible.”

“I do, though.” He grabs my hands and faces his body towards me.

“Can you imagine all of the days and nights we could’ve had just like this? All of the conversations we could’ve had? All of the movies we could’ve seen, all of the shows we’ve could’ve gone to?”

My head feels like it’s going to burst.

“I know… it would’ve been nice…”

“Yeah, it would’ve been. It would’ve been nice to have had somebody to lay on the couch with and eat popcorn off of.”

“Wait, what?”

“You know, like, put the popcorn bowl on their stomach and watch late night TV together.”

“That actually sounds quite nice.”

He stands up.

~~~~

“Can you imagine all of the days and nights we could’ve had just like this? All of the conversations we could’ve had? All of the movies we could’ve seen, all of the shows we’ve could’ve gone to?”

My head feels like it’s going to burst.

“I know… it would’ve been nice…”

“Yeah, it would’ve been. It would’ve been nice to have had somebody to lay on the couch with and eat popcorn off of.”

“Wait, what?”

“You know, like, put the popcorn bowl on their stomach and watch late night TV together.”

“That actually sounds quite nice.”

He stands up.

“Why are you moving anyway?”

“School. And a number of other reasons…”

“What are they?”

I stand up next to him.

“I just want to see if there are other places in the world that I would fit into better. I feel like my time’s up here.”

His arm reaches over to my left shoulder and pulls me into his side. Typically, with most men with such cheesy gestures as this, I would feel extremely petrified… but I couldn’t explain this one.

“You can come visit, you know…”

He lets go.

I am suddenly engulfed in a hug, tightly woven with his skinny arms.

Silence.

I felt like I had cracked open a cold case, tucked hidden away, crumpled up with multiple receipts and paper straw casings.

I like to think about his Honda Civic. The crumbs in the seats and the smell of smoke embedded in the fabric. Hoodies and shirts strewn across the seats, CDs missing cases and books missing jackets…

When we drove back to the party, he put on ‘Little Honda’ by Yo La Tengo because he claimed it to be his car’s theme song. I told him I would send him a mix from across the sea. He said he would do the same.

Maybe it was a mixture of lack of sleep, weed, and an unusual amount of alcohol that night but… I like to think it meant something.

I mean, apparently it did. Solely by coincidence (so he says), he’ll be studying abroad here this fall.

Until then, I’ll eat inauthentic burritos, drink shitty tequila, maybe get a bit too drunk, enjoy culture, live a life worth living… and wait for the perfect conversation.

movies we could’ve seen, all of the shows we’ve could’ve gone to?”

My head feels like it’s going to burst.

“I know… it would’ve been nice…”

“Yeah, it would’ve been. It would’ve been nice to have had somebody to lay on the couch with and eat popcorn off of.”

“Wait, what?”

“You know, like, put the popcorn bowl on their stomach and watch late night TV together.”

“That actually sounds quite nice.”

He stands up.

“Why are you moving anyway?”

“School. And a number of other reasons…”

“What are they?”

I stand up next to him.

“I just want to see if there are other places in the world that I would fit into better. I feel like my time’s up here.”

His arm reaches over to my left shoulder and pulls me into his side. Typically, with most men with such cheesy gestures as this, I would feel extremely petrified… but I couldn’t explain this one.

“You can come visit, you know…”

He lets go.

I am suddenly engulfed in a hug, tightly woven with his skinny arms.

Silence.

I felt like I had cracked open a cold case, tucked hidden away, crumpled up with multiple receipts and paper straw casings.

I like to think about his Honda Civic. The crumbs in the seats and the smell of smoke embedded in the fabric. Hoodies and shirts strewn across the seats, CDs missing cases and books missing jackets…

When we drove back to the party, he put on ‘Little Honda’ by Yo La Tengo because he claimed it to be his car’s theme song. I told him I would send him a mix from across the sea. He said he would do the same.

Maybe it was a mixture of lack of sleep, weed, and an unusual amount of alcohol that night but… I like to think it meant something.

I mean, apparently it did. Solely by coincidence (so he says), he’ll be studying abroad here this fall.

Until then, I’ll eat inauthentic burritos, drink shitty tequila, maybe get a bit too drunk, enjoy culture, live a life worth living… and wait for the perfect conversation. ∆

off of 'I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One' (1997)