Tuesday, February 10, 2015


At work today, I saw you walk past my window, so I jumped up and bolted through the office — hoping to catch you at the front door.

My co-workers looked up from their monitors and stopped mid-conversation with one another to watch me serpentine, arms flailing, though each department. I rounded corners and swung open doors — knowing the whole time that it probably wasn’t you at you. This is embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t actually see your face. Just a back view of someone’s blond-headed skull on top of a frame similarly proportioned to your own. But that was just enough to convince me it was you.

The back of your head.

I know the back of your head.

I never told you this, but the first time we met, I noticed the back of your head before I noticed anything else about you. I imagined myself sliding my hand up your back and into your thicket of blond hair. I felt compelled to run my fingers through it. Smell it. Pull it. Then suddenly I felt myself walking towards you. And then I was standing next to you, with a clear view to your face. I knew before I looked that you were going to have one of the most beautiful faces I’d ever seen. I stole a look and then I quickly faced forward again before you caught me gawking. My instinct was right: You had one of the most beautiful faces I’d ever seen.

I stared intensely at our reflections in the mirror behind the bar because seeing us next to one another was perfect, and we didn’t even know each other yet.

In the mirror, I noticed a girl coming up from behind. She shimmied her way between us and I quickly realize she was your friend. So I complimented her hair and asked what she was drinking. She was nice, but she didn’t introduce you right away and I appreciated that. So I intentionally kept my interest in her. Not you. But I could see you in my periphery, craning your neck and brushing your hair back with one hand. You wanted me to notice you, but I wouldn’t give you the satisfaction. Finally, she gestured to the air behind her and says, “This is my friend, Jeremy.” And I could see the relief in your face when I leaned in to shake your hand. And I didn’t let go right away. And neither did you.

After the bar, I took you to my office to listen to music and shoot hoops, because that’s my move and I do it with every guy I want to fuck and it always works. And it did work. And then we started seeing each other and it was nice. The sex was nice. The intimacy was nice. You were nice. But at the time, nice wasn’t enough for me. So I chose someone else.

When you came to my house that last day, I knew I was going to break things off, but I hugged you anyway — which was a selfish thing to do. You were so excited to see me and I felt guilty for knowing the future. But when you threw your arms around me in the doorway, I pulled you tight and inhaled. Then I took you by the hand and led you into my bedroom. Before you break someone’s heart you feel an unearned boldness. It’s like all the good parts of you wilt and the ruthlessness inside takes over and says all the things you’ve been withholding. That happens, and then eventually, you watch the back of his head as he walks away.

I tore through the art gallery towards the front entrance of my office and pushed open the glass door with both hands. As soon as I did, I realized that I’d left my sweater back at my desk. Outside on the street, the air was wild and icy. I crossed my arms, rubbing my biceps with my palms and locking my jaw to keep it from clattering. The wind was loud in my ears, but I could still hear the sound of your name humming under it.

But you were gone.

You're still gone.

And that will always be my fault.