A Penny for Your Thoughts

She speaks like an expert even when she’s not, especially when she’s not. He nods and looks over her head at the basketball.

She asks if he’s listening he says of course he is. She apologizes for her tangent. He says that he likes it when she talks this way.

The answer is what she wanted and the reason she apologized.

She wasn’t sorry, she was never sorry.

She loves talking expressively and using big words and having big opinions.
But still she can’t be totally soothed. She knew he was supposed to say that. He knew he was supposed to say that.

But what does he feel?

She wanted him to tell her his every thought as she pours out her own onto the table cloth.

She want their thoughts to mix together and coagulate. She wants to feel the warm, wet, emotion behind his eyes.

She complains when he’s not engaged.

Then she is sorry.

Sorry for complaining. And sorry for being sorry.

She cannot pry him open by complaining, only annoy him.

She annoys herself with the sound of her own voice. But when she asks if he is annoyed he give the answer he is supposed to give and she is even less soothed than before,

more worried.

There is a downward spiral of worry and insecurity. As she was wants him to engage, cannot make him, is sorry she tried, then sorry to herself for being sorry.

She wants to know his thoughts, but even when he tells them, even if she could know for sure that he was reporting them honestly, she can’t be soothed.

His words come out of his mouth like funneled liquid, he compresses his thoughts into a shape that fits the ordinary bounds of ordinary conversation, as if they were just two people.

He shapes his words into the expected replies that he knows she wants to hear.

Or maybe he isn’t. Maybe he says all the right words perfectly because he really is as perfect as he seems. Maybe he really is this person, the one that shadows her mind and speaks in ways she always hoped another human might speak.

But she cannot know his mind, she can only receive this filtered stock of answers they both expect, of words she wants to hear.

She wants to open up his head and crawl inside.

She doesn’t want him to tell her how he’s feeling. She wants to feel how he’s feeling.
When they lie in bed at night she wants to undress him.

Not for the reasons that might be expected

– not only for those reason at least.

She wants to undress him because the barrier of clothes between them feels like the Berlin Wall. She want to be close to him,

she want him inside her and not for the reasons that might be expected

– not only for those reasons at least.

As he sits across from her in the cozy café. In the deep, soft, creamy leather of their chairs. His eyes keep glancing at the television, but she knows,

she expects

that he really wants to hear her voice.

That even if she hates the sound of it, he means it when he says he doesn’t.

It’s not enough to hear his thoughts funneled out his mouth.

The skin of his forehead, the hard bone of his skull, these barriers are suffocating agony to her.

She wants to feel the firing of his neurons.

She wants to love his memories the way that he experienced them, not gather them second hand through his half distracted, half remembered relations of them.

It’s painful to be separate from him. As painful as it is to hear the sound of her voice in her own ears.

She wants to hear it from his ears.

She hates the every imperfection of her face, the millions of which she has studied and cataloged.

She wants to see them through him eyes, to see if there as hideous in hazel as they are in blue.

Loving him isn’t enough.

Being loved by him isn’t enough.

She wants a merger of their souls.

But she speaks like an expert even when she’s not. And now, built by half remembered, Wikipedia philosophy, she is asserting that there is no such thing as the human soul.

She wants him to kiss her and tell her again that he likes it when she talks this way but she doesn’t dare to prompt him.

Not again, she cannot bare the predictability of that reply.

But it’s all she has.

Like the second dose of a powerful drug, she craves it though it does her no good. She chases a high she never had.
He is as perfect as he seems. She is as pitiful as she seems. Their neurons will never touch and their souls will never merger.

There is no such thing as the human soul.

This is what I’m asking when I ask “What are you thinking about?”


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