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“March was amazing,” the young man said while he scratched his head, wondering what he meant by the utterance. He hadn’t been the least bit surprised by March, neither awestruck nor amazed. He used the word amazing in the same way people used catastrophe, and disaster, and horrifying, when they don’t mean any of it. Thankfully no clarification was asked for, instead he received the usual “that’s awesome,” and they both smiled unconvincingly with the slight head bobbing that goes along with it as if a significant agreement had been reached. The nod-bob, a kind of modified agreeing-nod, one that often goes with these lines. Nobody had said anything, really, in the conversation, so far. All the words were part of an elaborate greeting, including the exchanging of updates followed by “yeah'!” and meaningless, trailing, “so..” dangling in the air with nothing and nowhere to point to.
The young man was smiling too big, he thought. He tried at once, when he noticed the possibility, to smile less big, but the quick course-correction translated into a nervous twitch; or he was already
nervous and now just noticing that? He most certainly was nervous; again, every time, trying to read for signs, trying to be himself again (even while he wondered what that could possibly mean). Little wonder the conversation was so empty.
“How’ve you been?” was what had started it, flooding his mind with questions, had he been noticed, missed, looked for? “I miss you too,” he wanted to blurt out earnestly, even though this part of the inner dialogue conflicted disastrously with the facts: he hadn’t been away at all, neither one of them had actually been away. A fact, when followed, led to another dizzying swirl of considerations. Why the hello? Am I making too much of this? “March was amazing, yeah, so..” He played it back reviewing for signs of fakeness, and he did it all while the conversation carried on. He was thinking, speaking and also dreaming with his eyes wide open, all of it at once. It was worth showing up at the same time everyday after all, so the planned chance encounter could have its high chance of happening, like it had, right now, even though it had taken a month, eventually according to plan, but he hadn’t thought it through, had he? Where to lead it? What to do? What could possibly happen next?
“I’m a complete idiot” his mind muttered just while his mouth was completing another empty sentence with “Yeah, I’ll see you later, have a great one.” Was “great” too much, would “good” have been better? March hadn’t been amazing. It dragged through his memory now, the weeks of timed waiting, it seemed like so much embarrassing work now. “I just come here to see you,” he didn’t say to the departing back. “I’m a complete idiot.” “How’ve you been?” “I’ve been a complete idiot for months now.” Complete. Disastrous. Amazing. I don’t know what any of it means. See you later? Of course you will, I’ll be back tomorrow… once upon a time.