Our "Thing"

We never first met. 

Never, really. 
Never in any formal, 
“Hello, my name is…” 
“Nice to meet you, I’m…” 

The recital, that was my first sight of you. 

You never saw me enter, you couldn’t have seen me sit, you didn’t see me applaud, you shouldn’t of seen me depart. Okay, maybe you saw me applaud, but there were hundreds of patrons applauding, so, it isn’t likely. You were onstage, behind that big stretch of Steinway. Everybody else? They sat in the dark. My seat was at the back of the mezzanine. Neither was I, somehow, conspicuously dressed. So, no way did you see me — me, in particular. 

But the second time we crossed paths, years later, you knew me. You treated me like an old friend. It made no sense. Or had I forgotten some intervening encounter? Regardless, I was too flattered and too flummoxed to ask. 

But, no. Having reflected long and hard, it is undeniable: We never first met. Not formally. 

Had you seen me perform? That’s doubtful. My performances are rarely memorable. (Ask any critic.) That is unless there’s some big, onstage fuck up. Besides, of my rare, memorable performances? Nine times out of ten? I’m so heavily costumed and made up, there’s no way you’d recognize me out of character. Story of my life, really. 

My best role: “The Headless Specter.”
The name says it all. 

And yet, here, you knew me. And from nowhere at all. It confounds me to no end. 

Because we skipped a step — skipped that first formal introduction — that’s why, mayhap, whatever we had, whatever we were to each other, it got so screwed up. That’s why we ended up in the forest, in the dark, in the cold mud, our clothes ripped to shreds, with bowie knives at each other’s throats.

We called that… “fun.” 

No known conventionality fit the “thing” we were to each other. Copulating, the old fashion way, never could’ve quenched the thing-we-were-to-each-other’s thirst. 

For every encounter, there is a protocol. There must be. Yes, a properly executed protocol leading to a properly executed relationship. 

Unless, you—who, any day of the week, never said Hello first—planned it this way. 

Unless gaining the upper hand
by forever throwing the opponent off 
is your nature. 

If so, here’s one more thing for you: 
my respect. 

And all this while, 
blindly convinced, that 
I was the deceptive one. 

my love. 

Your knife cut deep enough not to kill, 
but yet to deaden. 

Not a musician. You? 
Should’ve been a surgeon. 

17 August 2004

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