Bad Habit

“You think too much.”

I will never forget the way he said those words to me. His ability to make me feel less than human was his super power.

His back was turned away from me as he began to undress. I was standing alone in the bedroom of someone’s parent's house wondering if what he said was true.

Twenty minutes earlier I watched a teenage girl come out of the bathroom with her boyfriend.

“You ever do coke?” she asked.

“No…” I said as if in slow motion.

“Good, it’s a bad habit,” she said.

My bourbon and ginger was flat and almost empty. I made another drink, waiting for him to get back from the store. I walked outside with the couple so they could smoke cigarettes and I could sit by the dying fire.

“So, how do you know him?” the girl asked me.

“We met in high school,” I said. “I used to go see his band play.”

“Oh ok, so are you two…?”

“We’re just...friends,” I said, with an ounce of hesitation.

We’ve never been ‘just friends,’ I thought. But there wasn’t a conversational diagnosis for whatever we were. He was never my boyfriend because that implies at some point that human was decent to you for at least a cup of coffee.

His car pulled into the driveway and the night stood still. He walked over and sat in a chair by the fire. He lit a cigarette and nodded his head, implying for me to come over. He pulled me into his lap, as I wrapped my arm around his neck.

“You having a good time?” he asked.

At least he’s considerate enough to blow the cigarette smoke in the other direction I thought.

“Yeah,” I said. “It’s been a good night.”

I became anxious sitting on his lap. It felt too intimate for whatever we were. He was looking at me like he wanted to kiss me, but he never would in front of his friends.

Moments later we all went back inside. The girl told us which room was ours for the night as we made our separate ways. My head was dizzy from the drinking.

“Everything in this room is so…green,” I said, stumbling to sit on the bed.

“That it is,” he said.

We were standing on opposite sides of the bed, facing away from each other. The room was dark and quiet. I couldn’t remember where I had left my drink. I started to ask him what we were if we were just friends or something more. I wanted a human response.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “You think too much.”

I took my clothes off and got into bed. I felt his body next to mine. That was all I could think about.


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