Company

4 Jun

So easy to love

the sound of your adorable laugh.

You placated my silly, frustrated rants;

railing about our classmates’ hacky stories

over post workshop drinks at

the bar across the street from campus.

 

We’d amicably disagree over we liked most,

which classmates we found irritating,

whose comments were the most annoying,

and which classmate would make a fun date.

 

For being old friends,

we barely knew each other,

but now was our chance

to share our mutual disasters;

both being newly single.

 

It didn’t bother me that half the time

you asked me to hang out was to push away

any lonely feelings you were having.

 

I liked the company.

Being with you was easy

and it was fun. And for the most part

it was innocent.

 

I loved you differently

than the rest of the girls I spent my

time chasing–the ones you’d listen to me

bitch about while you rubbed my scalp.

 

I just wanted you to be happy.

Most guys back then were terrible for you

(Including myself).

 

When you moved,

you were alone again.

We emailed and talked

(Back when I liked using telephones).

 

I came around when I could.

 

The distance and abstinence

created some funny feelings.

I blame it on the turn of the seasons.

 

When we were drunk and in the hot tub,

I (unsuccessfully) fought the urge to kiss you

because it felt so predictable.

You turned away

and I was worried that the rest of the night would be awkward.

But we held hands in the car,

at the stop lights,

while I drove you home.

“Two hands on the wheel.”

You said,

“The 10 and the 2.”

 

There was no pressure.

I had my own plans after school

and you were living yours.

It was always laughs

until it got serious–

until it got awkward.

Our comically bad attempts at romance

only seem funny now.

 

I’m not sure how many nights of watching

Home Movies in your bed happened, before I started

wondering about what else was out there–

beyond our lunches and dinners–

you begging me to engage you in some entertaining

conversation.

 

And maybe I was unstable.

But stability wasn’t in staying.

The stability was in leaving

because you wouldn’t give me a reason to stay.

 

We both knew the outcome.

I knew the score, and 

I wasn’t going to stay around

for someone whose defenses 

mirrored the ’85 Chicago Bears.

 

As much as I liked the heavy petting,

you can’t win a super bowl settling for field goals.

I saw myself as more of a full time starter

than a stop gap backup QB.

 

I knew that you loved me

but you no longer needed me

and I no longer needed you.

I only needed somewhere I could settle

once settling was no longer an option with you.

 

 

~Edward Austin Robertson

 

 

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