Another halt in the conversation--this is not at all how it was supposed to play out--and neither of us knows what the proper conduct is. What do you say after the bomb gets dropped and nothing happens? You pull the trigger and there's just a click? There's an anti-climactic shockwave moving soundlessly and destructively across the line, but the only thing left to do is ignore it. I'm not giving an inch to what I feel about this, because by this point, she doesn't even deserve my rage.
From there, the conversation is eerily normal, although there is another presence with us now, like we are sitting at a bar drinking beer and talking while a cadaver is propped up between us, beer wedged in hand and a cigarette burning slowly, unsmoked, between two lifeless fingers. I speak through my shock with calm aplomb, wind up the conversation and get the fuck out.
Sweet, bleeding jesus.
I lay back on my bed, interstate, and don't cry. I just lay there, searching out in the nerve endings of my limbs to familiarize myself with that awful creeping cold. It makes me nervous; like I am anticipating the onset of a particularly bad fever, so I decide not to bask in it for too long lest I find out what it being there really means. I go into our crack-house kitchen with the ruptured lino, make another coffee and sit in the back lattice smoking a cigarette and drinking.
And all this before lunch.
I'm gone for twelve fucking hours and that's all it takes.
I'm being far too furious with my cigarette, and probably my coffee too, but I cling to the motions desperately, in absence of knowledge of what the fuck else I'm supposed to do.