Van called and was sad. He said, "Come stay in my house while they are gone, no one will be here. I need people." I laughed. I could stay there. I could stay in a nice room in that house. It could be home-base while I went out in the city and met up with people. "Okay yeah," I said. He said, "Tell me when you know when you are coming, so I can get other people to come for the rest. I can’t be alone here." "You just want me to feed the pets while you are at work!" I teased. "I have no pets." This was so sad it was funny. I laughed at Van. "You have no pets!" I repeated. He considered. "Maybe if I had some pets." He sat there on the other end of the line. "Maybe that would be better." "Yeah, of course that would be better, I mean my friend, she lives alone, yeah pets, I don’t know."
I told Hank right after, I said, "Van called and was so sad. My friend Van! He wants people to stay in his house!" Hank was behind a door. I got dressed and listened to music. The music was so inspiring. The music said Life will be exciting and satisfying, at least for you. My hair looked really good. "Hurry up Hank," I said. "Are you ready?" I asked. I put the song on repeat. "I’m not ready," I said. I looked in the mirror and posed. I pretended I was in a real situation for the mirror, but really there was no situation in the room.
In the car Hank was sad. He would not respond. I asked what was wrong and nothing. I knew what was wrong. He was behind a door in the car. He was nonplussed so I joked on the ride there. The others waved at me from their car. The ones we were meeting. Hank got out and walked into the restaurant. He did not wait. The others walked towards me beaming, pleased with themselves. "Hank is sad," I told them. I did not know why really.
Inside, Hank sat stone-faced from behind his door. He acted bitterly towards the restaurant and I immediately sprang in defense. We felt reverence for the restaurant, but Hank complained to the waitress. The others started to fool around. They made any joke and bad jokes. I felt dulled by them and this. I knew my hair looked good, but I couldn’t see it. They were ruining the restaurant.
Then at the bar, Hank rallied back. I got the best parking spot in the world. Right in front! The others looked at me sly across the room. I played pool like some girl villain that kills with her legs. Then the bartender told me to get my butt off the table. The others were across the room. Bill was moving to some music. The music wasn’t saying anything to me. I was sad. The room darkened in the sadness. The sadness expanded and welled. Tears reeled up and my eyes felt close together. I walked towards a wall. It did not go away. I did not care about my hair. Every person was a person I knew mostly. I did not want to get inside them. They saw me and they approached. They coached me. But it did not help.
Posted by Rachel B. Glaser