sometimes I like to imagine myself

locked in a room with you

unable to get out

panic fills your eyes

painted with the colors of surprise and dismay

shades of blue, shades of brown

the color doesnít matter

your chair creaks as you shift uneasily

telling me in no uncertain terms

I am nothing special

though the words never escape your lips

for just one moment

I see myself through your eyes

khaki pants

highlighted hair

a tank top

smiling at you even though I sense

your self-proclaimed superiority wafting through the air

like the scent of a vanilla-flavored chai

a carbon copy me

placed in perfect cookie cutter form

and you know exactly what Iím like

before you ever hear me speak

you donít notice my resentment

twisting under that vapid, impersonal smile

and I donít bother to correct you

youíve already set me in my proper place

categorized and labeled

assumptions chaining me down and robbing me of meaning

I have space to breathe

but not space to be myself

in the split second you define me

I lean forward and say hello

the dread glazes over

asyou prepare your answer

rehearsed a hundred different times

with a hundred different people

and the only thing that changes is the name

you let disinterest coat your voice

as thick as honey in the cold

not lacking charm

but the apathy as discouraging as a death knell

ringing in the cinders of any chance we might have had

at friendship

or maybe something more

conversation is kept neutral

boring and mundane

like a late afternoon stroll along the river

you ask me about my day, my month, my life

not really interested in the answer

and only hear my voice

like a buzzing swarm of bees around your head

while you swat idly at the annoyance

I say what you expect to hear

already knowing

that youíre not listening anyway

and any information pried from you

yields the same

we might as well be silent

staring at each other from across the room

our mouths moving

a motion picture washed in brilliant color

dialogue suspiciously missing

drowned out by that sadly blurred sect of sound

somewhere else

children laugh like the peal of church bells

or your friends discuss something

as unimportant and mundane

as the conversation we are having

still more significant to you

because you know them

unlike the average girl who says words that donít mean anything

in front of you, stage center right

imaging you are with them

eyes vague and in a faraway, invented place

you nod in all the wrong places

and I pretend I didnít see

while we both wonder when this will end

finally

the bolt clicks

freeing us to go

and we part ways feeling unimpressed

in your mind

I am safely crammed into your categories and labels

without ever telling you

a single thing about myself

 

 

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