Sunday, January 17, 2010

(an older piece)

He started out 5'8", but by the time their romance was over, he was 4'3", and she didn't know what to do with him. Sometimes he would sneak into her pocket when she was on her way out to the library and wait until she was in the middle of trying to remember something important before popping out under her armpit and humming love songs toward her ear. His hum was the hum of a forgetful mime. Overall, his personality was that of a juggler irritated by a parking ticket. Sometimes, though, he reminded her of a man with sad eyes, given to slicking down his hair with something that smelled like her grandfather, making her like him terribly. "Bright Eyes," her friends called him behind his back. And it was true: He was as impudent as Charlton Heston. Bounced on the balls of his feet when he walked.

He had taken up smoking to get back at his parents for giving him an alliterative name, but then one day he told her, "You don't know what sad is until you've seen the mattress your parents slept on your whole life thrown into a garbage truck." By then he had given up smoking, and she was about to move to Canada for reasons of her own, having to do with a movie she had once seen.

When she got there, she realized that he probably missed her but that he was probably the kind of person who would give himself one day to be sad before distracting himself with ukelele lessons. She occupied herself with arranging her spices and cheering up the dog, and then on the 17th day after she moved, she got very sad while measuring the coffee.

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