The ugly known was behind us, and in front us was exemption from pain through exemption from everything.
I reminded him of everything, and he raised no objections. We were in complete agreement.
I didn’t want to rush him; it had to come naturally, flowing out, not being flushed out.
We took a moment to mourn our failure to matter to anyone. We knew if anyone was affected by this, it would be only through projecting it to their own lives; what happens to us could happen to them, and that’s sad.
I waited, and he stood there motionless. “A spectacle of imbecility only to be equaled by himself.”(1)
I recognized his answer the same way I recognized my job applications were rejected: through waiting. A silent “no” that I couldn’t argue with. A more delicate rejection. A rejection that utilizes how hope always exists but gets smaller through time; after enough time has passed, you will begin to hear that silent “no”.
He defied every argument and emotion that we both knew and have known for years.
For his tears I held no more pity; he disgusted me. His incompetence was evident, and it has condemned me to live solely for the fear of dying. From now on, I would live because no car has hit me, and my binge-smoking has not yet burned my body from the inside.
We sat, enemies that cannot be separated. His incompetence will limit me, and my thoughts will torture him. We painted white over all of this; A new page, we thought. Hope came about, teasing with a sarcastic smile: “Everything will be better tomorrow. Trust me, I never lie.”
Is there a greater cowardice than being frightened of the act of fleeing? Than being frozen by fear to remain motionless, too scared to run away but also too scared to fight?
I passed by a grocery store later that evening, and bought bread and some cheese. I ran out of both, and I needed them for tomorrow’s breakfast.
(1) Charles Dickens. Great Expectations.