Wake and Break (Her Heart)
The sun was coming up over his shoulder as he sat on the patio at the white plastic table.
When he heard the coffee pot sound off he went in and poured himself a cup, watching the steam rise as the coffee filled the mug.
The weather had paralyzed him and he did not care to move much. He would get up to get more coffee, but that’s it, he told himself.
He smiled and talked with the girl, the sunglasses hiding his crooked eyes.
Sometimes he would close those eyes and smile as the girl was talking, feeling the cool air all around him, on the back of his neck under his hair, on the inner parts of his ears, on the tops of his shoulders. He would think very deeply about the peace he was feeling and only wanted to keep it going.
After a while it was very obvious he was not listening and that things had changed and she asked him, “What’s the issue?”
“Just not feeling it,” he told her, “Whatever cliché you want to use.”
“Aren’t you sad?”
“A bit,” he said truthfully, already having thought back on the good times, “But I’ve been sad before and I’m not scared to go there again.”
The girl was quiet now and looked upset despite the nice weather and he told the girl, “You were the best at certain things and I will always remember you for them.”
Hearing this the girl flashed a face – as if she had just noticed the sun and the air and the green grass and flowers all around them, the smell of the coffee and the sounds of the birds – but she did not say anything.
Then he said to her, “Isn’t it weird how different we all are?”
“I think it’s fantastic,” she said in a way that sounded political and rehearsed.
“Sure, it’s nice.”
Now attempting to speak from a pedestal she said, “Don’t sound so thrilled.”
“Well, it’s weird.”
“What’s so weird about it?”
“That we all think we’re right.”
The girl rolled her eyes and told him, “Maybe you should take it easy in the morning.”
The man took off his glasses and tossed them onto the table and said, “There you go, there’s a cliché you can use,” and he stood up with his coffee cup and headed for the sliding door and told her to have her stuff out by the weekend.