When there’s nothing left to say, you know it.
Watching the dial on the clock. Counting every second wasted as you sit in silence.
He speaks but there’s no substance. There’s no notoriety in any of these lingering conversations. On the phone; on a train; in a diner now. Did he ever care at all?
You’re listening to him talk, about his day, his work gossip, his mom’s lung cancer. And you’re honestly just wondering when the waitress is going to refill your water.
You glance at a basket of French fries that pass by; potato skins seared golden brown. Burnt, bare and just a bit black at the ends. And you’re wishing you could focus on the menu instead of another talk about tomorrow.
His voice is flat, tired and hopeless. Your sighs are long and exasperated, pushing out the last pulse of air like your lungs just might collapse with each exhalation.
And you’re skimming the menu for something small. Something inexpensive. Something that might be pecked to pieces as you pretend to feign interest. So you pick out a side-salad and you flag the waitress over.
But he isn’t ready to order yet. He’s nervous; his eyes hiding behind an unfamiliar set of specs. To mask the wrinkles from lost sleep and too much thinking. To distract from the distance that’s much greater than the spaces between your bodies in this restaurant booth.
And just for a second, you’re examining his iris. The turquoise circled-shapes you lost your heart in. Every time he glanced at you. From across the room. Coming in for a kiss. In the image you’d painted in your mind.
They are empty now. Absent of almost all color. Grey, lost and lifeless.
He also orders the side salad.
And you think back to that time. Over a year ago. When you first met. And you worshipped him like a God.
When the flash of your phone would trigger feelings of euphoria. A text message. A Facebook post. A short goodnight call.
When you waited for those messages. Even after he stopped making time for you and you made excuses for why.
He was so boring now. So ordinary. Dirty jeans, soft suede jacket. Epically immature. Someone who cringed at collections of new vocabulary written in a book. Someone who repeated mistakes because he didn’t need to listen.
He was unremarkable. And he was no one.
And the waitress brings your salads.