I might’ve been an actor, but the thought of that

makes my skin crawl. The proximity to other people

kissing a stranger’s mouth

when you don’t know where that mouth has been.

Rehearsing lines, and pretending to be somebody else

Rehearsing a job, and doing what somebody else

tells you to do.

Ambition, to be the person, telling others what to do

No—I would rather be a bum.

In high school, I was an actor, just once

and my plan was to be sick that day, but she called me up on the phone—the actress.

She had to find my number in a directory, somewhere. I don’t know how she got it.

She was direct, a go-getter

Her goal was to work for Channel 4 News

Her body was tight, and she was round in the right places

all business

I liked her, although

she was way more intense, than I was

In bible class, the teacher would say something stupid

and we would look at each other

and laugh, quietly.

It’s funny, because when I write these words

I cry inside

I never asked her out

Not even at my 10-year reunion, when she touched my chest

and told me, “You were always so calm—like you had it together.”

I never felt adequate, and I still probably don’t.

She has a house,

on some island, close to Seattle, somewhere.

Now, she’s getting married, but that’s not the point.

We were in a movie together, in history class

Our skit was so good, they played it for the district

I was an old man, and she was my wife

I made her laugh, during our performance

It was on the Great Depression, but everybody was happy

watching us.


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