4 O'clock (With Friends)
I find myself fall into my room of comfort.
I should be out.
Out isn’t the important part.
The important part isn’t even mentioned.
It’s the “with friends” that’s implied.
Well, to whoever is telling me I should be.
But the thing is I don’t like meeting a friend for dinner at 5 when they have somewhere to be at 6.
I don’t like going to dinner with a friend who is going to order the potstickers and I will eat them too because I know I will end up paying for half of the appetizer whether I eat them or not.
So eat them I do.
And I don't care about the money. I don't care about the ten dollars. I just wished they'd ask.
About the potstickers.
About the splitting of the bill.
About what I want.
And stop telling me about what I need.
I don’t like going to get coffee with friends who always say their farewells with, “Let’s get coffee sometime,” and yet when I text them about coffee tomorrow, they’re not sure if they’re up to it anymore but they’ll let me know.
Would be a better answer even. Just no. If you’re letting me know that you'll me know, that puts me on stand by. On call. (Should I put my laundry in the washer or should I get ready for coffee or dinner?) It’s like being prepared to do overtime in the position as friend, but there’s no overtime pay. Just a lousy text ten minutes before my dinnertime saying, “I’m not up to it tonight. Let’s do another time.” And what’s interesting about saying you’re not up to it tonight but let’s do it another time is that you knew you weren’t up for it forever, and you don’t want to do it another time. So why didn’t you say what you knew for forever and why add the ending that’s not true?
I don’t like loud places, crowds of faces. But sometimes I don’t get to choose how/who/where when I’m not the only one going. I know it’s confusing. I know my dislike for large groups of people makes me seem stupid when I say that I am lonely because it doesn't make sense. But crowds don’t help lonely people, they push them into the corners and say, “Look at us! Listen to us! Why can’t you understand?”
(Lonely people, why can't we?)
And then I met this man. And we were in sweats, and his sweats looked even sillier than mine. He wore glasses and a hat that couldn’t warm his ears. And we jogged a little, and he whined a little, and we walked a lot. He showed me where he used to live, where he used to smoke, the corner where he thought the entire world knew that he was alone and left him be. He talked about when he was 19, which is 9 years ago. And when I spoke he listened. He didn’t interrupt. He didn’t even interrupt to say that it was 4 o’clock and that he had to go soon. And that's because he didn’t have to go. He hadn't planned anything beyond walk with her. He was here with me at 4 o’clock and we weren’t planning ahead on how to escape each other. We were too busy with 4 o’clock to think about 5.
So now when friends say Let’s get coffee sometime.
And when they say I need to get out (and be with friends)
I say no I don’t.
And when he says Do you want to go for a walk?
I say yes.
And we jog for exercise and to keep our bodies healthy for ourselves and each other, but I like when we walk too because we hold hands.
Oh hell, I’m in love, my heart is on fire,
All while the world is burning.