Aboard the car. Our feet shuffle in hesitation: first, mine, a little shy at the possibility of something happening, then yours, not interested in any way, as you have always been about everything. It is a norm I have accepted almost fully. The destination is home, the city so familiar, wet in the rain but dry in memory and, ah, how I love the drone of engines against wheels against concrete.
We pretend to be strangers. At some point in actuality, we are strangers despite day-to-day conversations that I wish lasted longer than
"I'll see you there. Don't forget, okay?"
"All right, I'll try."
We do not talk. We do not spare each other a flicker of recognition. I with my prose, you with your sheet music; both printed on paper but each a separate form of experience. I would like to close the distance between us, the distance which, macroscopically, does not exist -- not here within what little space is left between our arms as you reach into your bag for a handkerchief, a pen, a cell phone . . . Je ne sais quoi.
Perhaps the problem has always been the inability of the universe to produce good endings or at least good beginnings. Our default defense mechanism is dysfunctional as well. We live in pretense that we write the novel with our own expositions and climaxes and denouements, all the while recognizing the impossibility of it.
And yet further into the ride we find ourselves communicating below, in (once again) a shuffling of feet. There is the rustling of denim, the soft squeak of the shoe. A silent apprehension or a gush of embarrassment. Your leg against mine, mine against yours. Inside this car, the air is thick with an unusual sense of comfort, and we resign to the notion of it already being "home."