When I soaked black lentils on the counter at the same time you marinated tempeh on the counter, I pretended you were my friend. I hope your meal was as delicious as mine. I dodged you in the kitchen as well as I could, no longer crying about your leaving. I’d memorized your departure date, but it changed.
When you hugged me for a long time, I pretended you were my friend. When you showed me where your rib isn’t attached right, I was surprised how soft your side looked. You mentioned your mom had a similar issue. When you asked me to tell you my birth story, I pretended you were my friend.
When I wrote you long, rich emails that I never sent, I realized you had no attention span to read them, let alone do anything significant with me. I sent the emails to myself to clear them out of my drafts folder and pretended you were my friend.
When I lay in bed at night unable to sleep, I wondered if you invited everyone to use your bed while you were away on a trip, or if it was special for me. I pretended you were my friend. I’d rather know your bed tenderly with you in it, but that was never presented as an option.
When you didn’t seem to mind I’m old enough to be your parent, I thought you were far beyond the ordinary and pretended you were my friend.
When I offered to fill your cup, your rejection felt harsher than you probably intended. When I asked you to say hello to the ocean, you ignored my texts while you were in California. I understood and pretended you were my friend.
When you told me what your tattoo depicted, I was moved by the five months backpacking story and pretended you were my friend. When you sat on my bed. I trusted you with the adhesions in my neck and lower back. When I responded to the pain you caused me with intense emotion, I was afraid I would come in the south living room.
When you said my name a couple times, I pretended you were my friend. You explained what a confusing sound was: dogs whining on the zoom. When you built the beautiful altar, I pretended you were my friend.