the patio of my favorite bar is empty.

or I still find myself baffled when I stand upright.

the cute new black dude who works here introduced himself, though I already knew his name. a small benefit of being familiar is the attraction of friendly folk. A mural on the wall says "all your friends are already here" & I remember how many people have ruined my day on this very string-lit gravel patio. the afternoon can be a dayshift this time of year. I used to think I filled my own days. I'm not musing existential responsibility or some absolution of agency. I used to think our popular metrics of time were some finite reality. I fill my days with wonder, warding off, & worry. Today it's a pain in my hip & a non-playable character's feelings. Even the righteous get their feelings hurt & usually first. Nothing can be all or end-all. I fill my days with despair, drama, & desire. I want all the attention exclusively when I want it, no time else. Control is a big word because it feels so impossible.

every child looks at me different so I'm able to believe innocence exists at least temporally. I believe naivete is my greatest flaw. I usually detest earnest in others. I don't need to believe in people's ability to get by regardless. A lack of unsolicited sympathy cannot a bitch make. I ask every question allowed for the second time. The first is an in my ideal voice, in my head, possibly yelling. I am hardest on myself first but folks just see a fire & call it a tantrum. There's a middle ground between asking for attention & setting a house on fire. I wish I could do either convincingly. Civility is the ugliest & most ubiquitous fashion. I, too often, resent my smile because it obscures my vagrant apathy to casual engagement. when I smile & mean it, it means anything to the receiver. the something on my face is always just my face. rarely egg, often disgust. the look is unrested brick face. fuck-you-look-at-façade. clownish accents. hurt feelings because a fool isn't fluent in his own gibberish.

when you don't understand something, why doesn't a question form? the is no comfort to me in the uninterrogated so I find joy in nothing. I place it exactly where I want. In the best way, nothing lasts forever. There will always be a break from the hubbub if I talk about it in real-time. I used to need to be real, now I've displaced that craving toward time. I've been known to accidentally kill a vibe. All it takes is one of many sideways glances. Fuck I miss wine. I wonder if the sadness is the only constant left. It reminds me I'm alive, so I've stopped ignoring its knock. Increasingly less afraid but particularly still upset. This also means every joy is louder. I never mean to imply balance or cycle is fixed but mutable weather is a revelation.