“She doesn’t like to spend time with me. Or anyone else. I annoy her. She wants to be alone. She wants to be with me, but she wants to be alone. She likes to be by herself. Other people make her anxious. She feels like she’s pretending all the time, she feels like she’s turning into someone she’s not. But she said she loves me. I think she still loves me. I have hope. Maybe she needs some space. She said she can’t see me, it would be too hard for her. That she would want to kiss me. I told her that she should, then. She said we should just be friends. I’m going to tell her I can’t do that. I can’t be her friend. I’m going to talk to her. I think it will be okay. I’m going to see her tomorrow.”
The dark, sad boy talks to me on the phone. It’s been a long time since anyone has ever called me to talk. People don’t do that anymore. People don’t have anything to say.
It all sounds like everything I’ve ever heard before. He wants to talk to me, he wants me to listen, and I want to help him. It’s not good. It’s not a good situation for him. But he’s young. He doesn’t really listen to me. He wants it to be okay. He wants people to be better than they are. He wants his solution to be simple.
I’m not very good at this. I stutter and mumble and he laughs at me. But he understands. He catches on. It’s all simple, really.
He says “fucking” a lot. He uses it as an adjective, all the time but still unexpectedly, and I wince. “Yeah, the fucking phone.” “My brother is a fucking asshole.” “This guy is fucking funny, fucking funny.” The cursing increases when he’s happy, and decreases when he’s sad, along with all of his other words.
I decide, during the phone call, that I like this about him. I like people who are different, people who have things to say, people who say things in their own way.
“I fucking love Mega Man.”
“What is Mega Man?”
“It’s a game. It’s fucking hard.”
We talk for a few hours. I look at the clock and the time is passing and he says, “Wow, it’s midnight already.” A button is pressed and we leave each other. I become alone. It is quiet and dark.
I think about him, and people. How easy it is to enter someone else’s life. How easy it is to affect them. To care about them. To worry about them. To help them. It’s simple, really.
“It’s going good, so far,” he says.