I really wish you hadn’t but you did. You overheard me loudly debating the merits of incarceration, huddled in a corner and discussing topics that shouldn’t be spoken about as frivolously as they were. Sipping wine out of a polystyrene cup and saying things I had no clue would spark anybody’s interest- I sparked yours.
All it took was a handshake, a smile, and a strange smirk on your face as you casually tossed around words like “existentialism” as if they were simple concepts of the English language and I was hooked. You told me to be a writer, we discussed the colour imagery of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s prose and how books sometimes change our lives. For the first time in my life I’ve suddenly felt conscious of how little I know. For the first time in my life I’ve realised how precious knowledge is and how much I need to learn more about everything.
I want to spark your interest with everything I say.
You called me weird and then laughed like we’d just indulged in sharing a secret. I called you impressive and blushed like I’d just given myself away.
You made me feel utterly naked, I was not used to having conversations with poetry.
All I knew is how badly I wanted to have more.
We went out for drinks, it felt like more than that, it felt like a ceremony of wit and I reveled in every single syllable that you spoke. I was drunk on gin and sentences, I was seduced with vocabulary. We sat in a corner and huddled against the cold of human ignorance, all these people who thought very little and did so much- empty souls in a bar, trying to find some sort of love for the night, trying to find a place to call home for a couple of hours. I felt superior, like the fact that you made me feel smarter than anyone else meant I was some supreme human being.
You kissed me outside of a closed restaurant and I left a part of me behind in a puddle on the pavement. You held my waist and told me I was going to be a problem for you. I liked being the reason for your anguish, because it meant I was at least a piece of furniture in your complicated life, I was something you acknowledged.
Turns out I’m not the only thing you acknowledge. I figured it out after you drove away with my affection in your pocket and then told me I had to keep it a secret.
Suddenly I stopped being Harriet, the girl who went out for drinks and was kissed by commas and caressed with adjectives, I became someone I’d sworn I would never let myself become. I became a secret.
She found out, you’ve obviously done this before. She found out and wasn’t upset with me because you’d put her in the same position 10 months before. You’re a serial philanderer, and you seem to have no problem with dragging dented women down with you.
Suddenly I don’t feel very smart. I was so intoxicated with what came out of your mouth I forgot to check how dead your eyes are, and how broken you must be to throw multiple sets of feelings around like that.
I think I picked you out from a crowd of nightmares.