Oh, The Places We Won’t Go

I live in the same town as you. Although, I hate it more. We probably go to the same places, maybe even at the same time. I’m the one who looks prettier from further away.

I mean she; this should all be in third person. Or, second. It could have happened to anyone. It happened to happen to me. Anyway, all of us — she, you, and I. We were all at that place we go to when other plans fall through. You know it — those dingy walls that used to be charming. Just enough natural light falling through the windows — just barely obscured by dust on the inside and gritty exhaust fumes on the other — just enough to remind you there’s something else going on other than what’s inside our head.

The drinks are good enough and not unreasonably priced. The music is easy to ignore. You could list things that annoy you about it, but, this place somehow annoys you less than the other places. You hold the door open for an old man with large teeth. He goes in as you leave. His thin lips, same pale color as his face, are chapped and crusty at the corners.

Where does she go when there’s nowhere around? I know, not usual places. Places that are metaphors, places that smell like too many half-truths. Places void of confrontation, just forced exhibition. With prohibitive signs and fatalistic warnings, vulgar graffiti and red stains enclosed in barbed wire, these places are traps.

“It’s a nice day outside today,” A stranger says, not impolitely. There is no chance of forming a real relationship — not because we happen to be alive on the same day, anyway.

“Nice ‘nuff, ‘spose. Probably rain later.” You uncross her arms to put your hands in her pocket.  TC Mark

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