I've started doing this thing with a friend of mine where we go to really public places, like street corners, parks, shopping malls--places where there's lots of people--and make out and just generally act like one of 'those' couples. It's not that we even like each other like that or even that we're really great friends. But there's the dirty looks we get, and it's like it's more fun than it would be if we were actually just one of those couples. Usually we get lunch after. Sometimes we sit on the same side of the table and hold hands and quietly giggle and kiss each other every few minutes, but mostly we figure we've had our fun for the day, so we talk and watch people. Sometimes I wonder how many couples are doing it because they think it's funny. I actually mind less when I imagine them laughing about it later.
Today I watched a traffic signal flicker erratically. Not the steady flashing of a signal which knows it's malfunctioning, but a frenetic malfunctioning sort of flicker--at first it was red, flashing on and off at random, like it was trying to flash but didn't know how. Then it turned green. The green seemed more steady, but every few seconds or so it turned red, for just a fraction of a second. Like it wasn't sure. Like it was getting mixed signals from whatever controls it.
There's a corner of my bedroom I don't really use. There's a small collection of junk there which overshadows a little folded up piece of paper in the corner. On that piece of paper are written the most venomous words I have ever penned--a letter that I never sent. I wrote it in pen on a page of a notepad I had acquired. It filled the margins--I explained, in the letter, that I would rather not waste paper on the recipient.
I don't know why I still have it. I don't really know why I never sent it. It's been in the corner for a long time, and I don't know why it's there--I didn't even write it at this house.
I forget about it for months at a time, then I go into that corner to use the outlet, or to grab something, and there it is. For half a second I wonder what it is, then I recognize my handwriting, the folding, the shape of the letter--I would recognize that letter anywhere. It's always there to remind me of everything I did wrong, everything that went wrong. And I never sent it--I told myself it was so I wouldn't have to waste postage, but that wasn't it. I just don't know what it was.
All I know is I have this reminder sitting in the corner of my room. Not hidden, but out of the way. Just paper and ink.