Jennifer has been staying in my closet for three days. She knocked on my door one evening crying her heart out.
I opened the door and contemplated not letting her in. I didn't have to ask what was wrong…I knew.
Her married lover will not leave his wife. It’s the same old song, and I was tired of hearing it. This misery was of her own doing. He won’t leave her, then leave him. Fuck. Where’s the confusion?
“I have some things going on right now. I’m not in the mood for this,” I said. She pushed past me. And stopped short as she surveyed my empty living room.
"Where’s your couch?
"I threw it out,"
"It was depressing me," I said. "Wrong color,"
"What? Where am I supposed to sit?”
“You can go back home,” I said.
She ignored me.
She went to use my bathroom and I went back to my bedroom. I was not in the best mood either. I was having a moment too. Mine was just not as severe - I was far from falling apart.
She came into my bedroom where I lay sprawled across my bed listening to my Nina Simone.
She sat down beside me.
“I saw them together and they looked so happy,” she said. “They were holding hands and talking and smiling. He told me that they lived like strangers,”
She burst into another fit of tears. I rubbed her back. It was all I could offer.
“And now you know,” I said. “So make a decision,”
I don’t remember her going into my closet. But I awakened in the middle of the night and found her sleeping amidst my collection of evening gowns. Most of which has never been worn. I didn't have anywhere to wear them. Most of my evenings belonged to the boys.
I stared at her. She looked helpless and damaged even in sleep. Mascara made spooky black streaks upon her face.
How is it, I wondered, that I don’t love like this?
I brought her a blanket and a pillow and closed the door.