“I have a mannerism.”
“A Mannerism, th at’s why I’m here.”
The man with the polite blue windbreaker shakes his head yes.
The man in the polite blue windbreaker now shakes his head no. He turns to look at the receptionist, but she, coolly beyond giving aid, acknowledgement, anything, you, me, pain, all of it beneath her, does not see any of us and for that matter might as well not exist, and yet, inexplicably and unfairly she does, and it is a painful triumph over the rest of us.
A woman enters the office from that door. All heads look up. The man in the polite blue windbreaker who was moving deeper into nervousness stands, smiles genuinely, moves in one step toward the woman who has come from behind the door and kisses her on the cheek, hands her her lunch, an act that anesthetizes us all from hearing anything further spoken between them, or hearing it like movie theater talk, we enthralled now disdain and sublet his cast off anxiety from the room, take our turns with it each, until, like so many things, it is reduced, traded down for and against, lost in the friction of glances that puerile anemia of the heart, that grief, that stolen grief. And stolen for what? “And stolen for what?”
“I’m here for a mannerism too.” A smaller man who looks exactly like you think he does, says to me, I who only just exclaimed so openly about my own mannerism, confided and nothing short of hoped for an outcome of its communication, anything. I a man stolen from. He is looking at me as I turn to look though the glasses on his small sweat sticky face and I tell him, I say…
“Shut the fuck up.”
And the man who looks exactly like you think he does, does.