Monica — Part One

           I want to talk to you about Monica.

        She thought I stopped loving her the minute I slept with you.  You gotta tell her it isn’t true.  You gotta tell her it was just your hair, because you’ve got hair like butter, and your shorts are so goddamn short and you have an excellent butt.

        She’s been distracted a while.  Opaque.

        It’s one of those things I know happens to people but I didn’t think it would ever happen to me.  You know.  The stories you hear about the teenagers coming into the hospital because her braces got caught on his dick.  Or the law suits with the man who kills his wife or embezzles a hundred million dollars that kind of thing that happens but wouldn’t happen to you.  Has it ever happened to you before?

        I met Monica when we were seventeen.  I heard Monica doesn’t date. People told me you can’t hold her down, not a girl like Monica.  She had a tattoo on her back.  She would never tell me about the night she got it.  She didn’t want to talk about where she was from, either, only said, I’m here now.  I’m here, like she didn’t really believe it.

        First took her out to a concert.  She was bored.  They were awful.  I could tell she was sad, and she got cold when I asked if she was sad, but I could tell she was happy I asked.  I didn’t kiss her that night.  I thought she wouldn’t let me.

        She ended up kissing me first, in the school elevator we were in together by accident.  Hey.  How are you.  I’m okay, thanks.  She got this wild look like somebody had just caught her in a giant lie.  Then she kissed me.

        You never wanted to talk to me about Monica.  I can’t see her anymore.  She beat me up and I couldn’t even see her.  She’d make eggs in the kitchen and it would just be the sparks of the frying pan.  She’d read magazines and I could hear her turning the pages and laughing, but I didn’t know if it was Cosmo or the New Yorker.  She’d sit in the living room, touching herself, and I couldn’t even see her.  Just knew it from the moans.  I tried to train my ears to her.  The sound of Monica climbing between the sheets.  The sound of Monica pouring coffee in the morning.  The sound of Monica slamming the door.

        You know how you stop loving somebody and they become invisible?  I’ve gotta love her again.  You’ve gotta help me.

        I think that the beginning of it was—

        You know you’ve hit the end when you start talking about the beginning, you say.  You want to get a coffee?

        Not like a date.

        Not like a date.  I just want a coffee.

        I say yes.  I want a coffee.  We sit across the table from each other.  I move my knees from your knees.  Your hair is like butter.

        She only figured it out because she was sitting on an armchair, reading the paper, and I sat down on the same armchair, and felt her under me.

        Sorry, didn’t see you there.

        You were looking right at me.

        Sorry.

        She sniffled.  I imagined the silent way she cried, how her eyes would get all wet and empty.  I couldn’t remember what color her eyes were all of a sudden.  They were just empty.



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