He opened the door and I followed him up the stairs. He took a seat on his swiveling chair as I removed my shoes and jacket. I rubbed my hands together in attempt to warm them; it felt as though they had frozen from the frigid air outside. He looked frail and I knew the pressure had finally gotten to him. He asked how I was doing rather than discuss what we both knew was on his mind, a tactic I often implement when trying to avoid critical issues. I steered the conversation in his direction and, as a man with faith, he said “I know I’ll get through this, I just don’t know how yet…”

He called and ten minutes later he was waiting outside my door. I put my jacket on and ran through the rain to his car. We drove a few blocks away to a motel you’d expect to find in the middle of nowhere. As he checked us in, the clerk told us about the prostitutes that frequented the rooms at night. I feared that she would think ill of us, but I quickly realized my modest attire wouldn’t be misconstrued. She handed him the key and we walked down a long hallway, stopping at the second to last door on the left. Once inside, I took a seat on the bed as he made himself comfortable…

Tuesday…

 

I got on the subway and sat next to a sleeping man. I looked out the window into the attached car. I saw a couple kissing and a woman watching them with longing. It was one of those melancholic days in the city where you could sense the discontent of fellow travelers. Perhaps it was just projection? I looked straight ahead and accidentally locked eyes with a man who was watching me. He quickly looked away. I smiled in an attempt to ease his embarrassment. I gazed passed him and out yet another window. The trains and stations passed by at an accelerated speed. I waited impatiently for my stop…

 

I had hoped to look back and think of him fondly one day, but he seemed intent on destroying any possibility of that…

…I titled my head back and let the sun warm my face. As I closed my eyes, a cool breeze made its way thru the trees and on to me. The wind brought with it the scent of flowers from a nearby garden. I suddenly realized I had forgotten where I was and whom I was waiting for. I knew he wouldn’t show but, in that moment, I chose to believe he would…

A bead of sweat dripped down his temple and melted into his shirt. I watched his eyes look in places it shouldn’t. Although it was difficult, I resisted the urge to press my lips against his. As I smoked my cigarette, we spoke of things I would later forget. The only memories I would have of our interaction were a dizzy feeling and the sound of rain. He reluctantly walked away, leaving me standing underneath the stairwell. I waited a moment before heading back inside…

a love letter…

 

It was as if I were inside a painting. The pink and gold sky made a violet sea. It was quiet, but I could feel vibrations of sound coming from the city. Far away from it all, I began to reflect, but I had trouble remembering. Their faces had become blurred silhouettes; their names, just coupled letters. It seemed as if my despondent memories had somehow vanished as we made our way further into the water. I breathed deeply hoping to inhale and take with me this unfamiliar sense of calm. As I exhaled, I found myself wondering if love felt like this…

 

I stood on the steps of the subway waiting for the rain to pass. The city seemed quieter that day. Perhaps the ominous weather had somehow silenced the honking horns and vociferous pedestrians. I looked at the clock on my phone and realized I still had time to waste. I removed a cigarette from my pack and lit it. A man appeared in front of me as if from out of nowhere. His pungent scent burned my nose as I inhaled. He moved his fingers to his mouth, signaling his desire for a smoke. I gave him what he wanted and then headed to the hotel. Once inside, I took the escalators upstairs. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but then I noticed signs directing the way. I found the elevators and reluctantly went up to the fifteenth floor. I didn’t want to be there, but at that moment, I had no other choice…

.

I walked in and noticed all the lights were off. I flipped the switch and took a seat behind the desk. I looked at the clutter in front of me and mentally assessed the tasks ahead. I suddenly remembered he wouldn’t be coming in today and, so; my motivation would be lacking. She took a seat across from me. Her thin yellow hair complemented her matching top and light gray suit. She spoke rapidly and I found it difficult to follow her thoughts. We briefly commiserated over our mutual dislike for our positions and then she headed to her office. Closing the door behind her, I contemplated the surrounding four walls. I couldn’t remember how I had gotten situated between them. Rather than succumb to the inevitable melancholy that would follow such questions, I imagined myself away…

.

I sat down at an empty seat in the middle of the bus. There was a chattering couple behind me, a man asleep to my right, and a father with his two daughters in front of me. I placed my bag on the empty seat next to me and removed a book I had been trying to finish for months. I looked up for a brief moment and noticed the bus driver smiling at me in the mirror. We had bonded over a cigarette only minutes earlier. I smiled back and then awkwardly looked away. I attempted to read, but was quickly bored. I looked out the window and focused on the passing traffic. I was struck with a sense of melancholy as I watched so many cars head towards the place I was leaving. I knew it would only be a few days before I had to return…