I asked for black coffee and you said it looked like it was going to rain. I said something about leaving and you responded in the same way. I told you a story about a man who died in his sleep and the only thing you could think of were those photo strips from the pier that I kept in my top drawer. You asked me, do you still have those photo strips from the pier in your top drawer? I admitted to keeping them all, even one on the wall near my couch in my little apartment, and you took this as a sign that the winds would change or the tide would rise. I didn’t have the heart to tell you I just loved the photograph. I started to feel right away like my old self in that booth, like she had never left, like she had never changed, like she had never betrayed the both of us. I think perhaps it’s the one of the things we have in common now. Feeling betrayed by her, manipulated and left out in the cold by her to fend for ourselves. I don’t expect you to understand that though because you don’t drink coffee anymore, and we don’t sleep sound anymore. There are certain parts of the conversation that force me to places of regret and other parts that allow me to feel light, and I feel stuck inside some life lesson that I never intended to learn in the first place. I can look around the restaurant and discuss memories laced with almost every table and chair, we have sat here so many times. But I don’t, because it would make one or both of sad, and nothing is funny yet. I drink more black coffee and you speak in several languages and we both pretend like we don’t recognize the other or that for some reason the hurt is our own.


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