January 8, 2002

Procession

Walking there, I reminded myself that I am beautiful and to ask her questions.

Thanks for working on my resume for eight hours, she said.

I didn’t do it so you would drive me to the bus station, I said.

Nor it is why I agreed to drive you, she said.

Then why did you? I should have said, only I would never say such a thing.

Never up, never in, as my golf-crazed father used to say. Meaning: only a ball that reaches the hole can go in.

What we did was talk, and there was a time when I became acutely aware of this fact, that we were two animals conversing. I was aware, too, that I did not want to kiss her, so that is what I did: not kiss her.

I haven’t said her name. For some reason I’ve avoided it. Calling her her feels best. She, her. And the reason, I see now, is that she is one of many over time. A kind of procession. Like in G’s play, Tensleep. Two characters played by six actors. When a character returns from off-stage, he or she replaced by a different actor, until all six actors have played both roles.