Almost


I almost called you tonight.  I almost picked up the phone and dialed your number and said "hello" in that way you like.  I almost asked you to come over.  I almost said please.  I thought about offering to make you dinner.  I almost stopped by the liquor store and bought a bottle of wine even though I prefer whiskey because I think drinking wine makes me look like a lady and I know how you like that.  I thought about telling you all the things that I've fucked up lately, how I've screwed up my checking account and been fired from my job and almost evicted from my apartment.  I thought about telling you how I worried about watching big Italian men with large muscles carting my things out to the sidewalk while I cried into the collar of my wool sweater.
      I thought about telling you about this weird dream I had the other night and then I remembered how you once said that someone else's dreams are boring to everyone except the person who had the dream.  I thought about telling you how I've become jaded and mean lately, how I step on the purple flowers in my courtyard and throw rocks at the squirrels, how I bought patio furniture for my den.  You always said there was something funny about me, like it wouldn't surprise you if I put the kitchen table in the living room and decorated it in a Thanksgiving theme.  I've been thinking about doing that lately.  I've also been thinking about a career writing folk songs, something with unpretentious lyrics and a nice beat.  I hear there's a good future in it.  No emotional pressure.  You always said I had a certain solid charm and I hear a certain solid charm will get you somewhere in the song writing business.  It's all in who you know.
      You don't know this but I've been learning to cook lately.  This guy I dated after you and I went south taught me how to make chicken.  It involves tin foil and bell peppers and garlic and tomatoes and it's pretty good but it also involves going to the grocery store and I don't like to do that too often because the people there aren't very nice to me most of the time.  I think it has something to do with the way I swipe my card through the machine when I check out.  I never seem to get it right.  I think I'm just too slow about it all.  Besides, it would probably be too weird if I made dinner for an ex-boyfriend that I learned how to make from an ex-boyfriend.  Did I tell you how the two of us broke up?  I told him I was too Catholic to date someone who was married.  Imagine that.  I thought about telling you that also.  I thought about telling you how I had no remorse at first, how I had this vengeful thing going on, how I wanted to ruin every good relationship I saw, how I watched the hands of young lovers, waiting to catch some sign of betrayal.
      Then I thought better about it all.  I thought you probably had your own problems, your own things to worry about, your own screwed up checking account and your own pathological worries about big Italian men with large muscles.  I know you have job problems of your own because that strange girl the two of us both once knew told me how you kind of went crazy one day at work and the cops came and you only got off going to jail because your cousin Tony works down at the station and he said you were just going through some shit.  You remember that girl?  She lived in a neat apartment downtown, on top of this trendy store that sold hipster shoes and truck-driver type belt buckles.  You always said it was too loud down there, but I liked it.  I just always wished I had gone to that one party at her place with you though.  I always wished I had put a bottle of whiskey in my back pocket and made out with you in a dark stairwell.  But there are always those things we wish we could take back and do over, aren't there?  
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