Always Crashing in the Same Car

I keep driving around your building writing a letter to you in my head. Sometimes the words don’t come to me. Sometimes I can come up with a line or two that I’m proud of, that deliver the exact message I want you to receive, but I never get to write it down. All I have are some crumpled up McDonald’s receipts and a couple of pens from the bank that I steal from that little canister when I go through the drive-through. When I think of something good I try write it down on the materials I have available but the paper is too crumpled. Between red lights I try and straighten it out on the steering wheel but I can’t get it quite right. When I do get one of the receipts right the light turns green or it is too dark where I am to write it down. Then I forget the idea.

I could always just park somewhere. How hard could that be? Just park somewhere and write it out. Hell, there’s a pharmacy on every corner, I can just walk in and get some notebook, a fresh pen, and have the space to write out my thoughts. Hell, if I am to do all of that I can just go home.

I give up on the letter idea. It’s a little trite, isn’t it? Maybe there is some romantic idea of that being a thoughtful personal thing to do, but I don’t know. Living in the same city, knowing where you are, what reason is there to write a letter? I could just park in your building’s lot. I could just walk up to the door and buzz you and you would let me in. I would walk up the stairs to the third floor and avoid touching the handrails because of the one time you told me you were walking behind some woman down the stairs and she hocked a loogie in hand and rubbed it off on the handrail you were using. I could use my stupid coded knock rhythm that I picked up from my uncle when I was eight. You would open the door with the rolling of your eyes and a smile. You would let me in and I would go to the fridge and check for your leftovers. You would tell me what was in there and then make it for me not out of kindness, but because I always make a mess. You would tell me about your day, who pissed you off, who you pissed off and how you didn’t care, and I would pretend to care. You know that, but you don’t care. You know it isn’t personal. I would eat the food you reheated for me, make a second plate, and make the exact mess you were hoping to avoid. You would make me clean it, but I would do a shitty job so you would grab the rag for me and call me useless. You would only half mean it.

We would go sit on the couch and put on some sort of tv show we have watched a thousand times and I would rant and rave to you about some bullshit, bullshit you aren’t interested in but I am passionate about. I know you don’t care. I don’t care. I know it isn’t personal. The conversation would continue, and while you didn’t care you were still listening. You would pick up a word or phrase of what I said and it would take you back. It would take you back to something I did that wasn’t so wonderful. It would make you mad. You would be right to be mad. I wouldn’t know how to make up for it. Even if you never say anything in the moment, I would know that you hated me. We would get tired and go to bed. We would have sex, or maybe not. We would fall asleep, and you would hate me.

So back to the letter. I’m still driving around. I keep looking at your building. I have a horrible conception of relative space, but I know which apartment is yours by the awful dying plant your Mom got you that you never wanted. I don’t park. I don’t write the letter. I don’t want to. It just feels worse than speaking words. I can’t go upstairs either. You would let me in. I don’t want to make you hate me again.