You and I were eating at the burger place across from the vegetarian place. I said: “Nothing beats a plate of fries and ketchup.”
You said: “Speaking of catching up, how are you doing?” and I knew how meant who and I knew doing meant screwing.
So I said: “Vanessa.”
That’s when you got quiet. But the silence was broken. The waitress bounced over, poured us water, and asked if we needed anything else, and I think for a sliver of time Vanessa slipped out of your mind, slinked out of your brain like a burglar out of a back door; or maybe her name dissolved into the murky broth of temporarily forgotten things, along with Pythagorean Theorem and your dog Scribble’s middle name.
Which was Lester, I remembered.
And I said that, too. Because I was proud.
“What about my dog?” you said, dunking your fries in ketchup.
My instinct was to wish I was dead, dead as Scribbles under a Toyota. But I loved you too much to be dead. I loved you so much, back then.
You asked again: “Jay. What about my dog?”
I bit my burger and it bled. “Never mind,” I said. “Nothing.”
I Go To Some Hollow