It’s 2:00 am! A lifetime ago, I was thinking of a big mistake I had committed that almost took a friend away. But she thawed and we were back to status quo. No. She isn’t what I’m thinking about.
I’m thinking about them. One was a pretty old memory while the other was a pretty warm one. Who knew they would converge on this rotten frame of mine?
Yes, we were friends. But that came much after. It was such a long time ago when I first heard the timbre of his voice, a warm baritone that annoyed the life of me. Overly eager, I venomously thought. Overly eager? Look who’s talking.
He looked smart. Then I found out he really was smart. Maybe because he spent most of his time classifying things. It was music, if I remember correctly. He couldn’t move on without assigning everything he hears a genre. Pop, rock, classical, indie. So I let him listen to my song and he said that it really didn’t belonged to any one place. He knitted his eyebrows in concentration and I laughed. Music is just music.
For his birthday, I gave him a canvas. He said he was an artist. I want to say I gave it in spite, but that would be a lie. I wanted him to be an artist, like how friends wanted each other to be astronauts—or batman, whatever superhero you watched when you were young. In return, he gave me a photo. Black and white. I was confused, ’cause who returns gifts? But I liked it a lot. I didn’t hang it. My family doesn’t hang things up.
Yes, we were friends. It was because I felt that we were always in the same page. We wanted to understand the same things. But we didn’t live the same paradigms. Like I’ve said, he wanted to classify music. But music is music.
Years after we saw each other again, though time had stretched us thin. He did become an artist.
December. A dare. A wooden surface. Bottles. Dim lights. The dirty floor. Black shirt. Adam’s apple. Hands on the table. A deck of cards. Smoke. An empty pitcher.
A tap. Black eyes. Slurred words. Knees. A wooden bench. Hands. An invitation. A smirk. Ceiling. Forehead. Eyes. Nose.
March. A dare. A wooden surface. Hands on the table. Dim lights. Empty bottles. A single plate. Smoke. Knuckles.
A rap. The door. Black shirt. Ceiling. Hair. Adam’s apple. The dirty floor. A pair of shoes. The stool. Hands. Black eyes. Ears. A smirk. Shoulders. Neck. Knees. The door.
The artist and the dare. Though my mind raced for the first while my hands for the second, I kept none of them. And this is what I’ve been thinking about.