You Are Here
You tilt your head as I ramble on because these three Greek letters mean nothing to you. I continue on anyway because that's what I do best. Talk talk talk. Throw in an effortless laugh here and there. And you listen because that's who you are. Patient, benevolent, and present. The act of simply being is a difficult task for some, but not for you. People fucking leave, but you, you are here.
I try to explain to you how the 50+ hours my sorority spent preparing for a 5 minute performance was all worth it. You nod in agreement, but I continue on anyway with my list of validations because I am not used to winning this argument. You are not like the others -- you don't mention the red solo cups or the loud music on Friday nights. Instead, you quietly listen to me ramble on about the philanthropy event I'm planning and the crazily organized sister with the 90% average. The cups of coffee in front of us are now half full half empty and I ask an open-ended question so you can do more of the talking. This is a technique I mastered through one too many sorority workshops: ask meaningful questions and let the counterpart do all the talking for you. I know you enough to know where to poke at, so I do, and so you go on about your field of study. Your eyes light up, as do mine when I speak of international affairs, and your words follow one another faster and faster. While I only understand about a quarter of what you spent 5 minutes explaining, I nod anyways because I know you do the same for me. Silence fills the space that embraces us as our coffees come to an end. I look out the window because I dare not accidentally get lost in your eyes. Because you may be here, but my heart is elsewhere -- rather, nowhere to be found. But for once, I keep my mouth shut and just smile. In a culture where holding hands is more intimate than sex, others might interpret this as an invitation of some sort, but you don't. You smile back. Others will question us. What we are, what our feelings are for one another, what happens next, but you and I both know, this is the best kind of relationship there is. The one with no ending -- because you will never leave me the way he did.