That day I lived in degrees and it seemed in those moments to be like a pendulum: swinging from a lot, then to much less and then nothing. I was hoping I would feel the degrees all over again. But the pendulum stopped swinging as she left.
I meet a friend, happy but much less. Day ends. She leaves. Degree of happyness- a lot. I walk home. Nothing.
“I wanted to meet her, didn’t I?”
A cold, windy day. Just as I like. Book. Tea. Window. Just as I like.
She calls. Some thing of a pleasant past, like a familiar fragrance, reaches me. It felt warm. Degree of nostalgia- a lot. But then…
Much less. For her tone fails to veil her rancid smug. Degree of hope- a lot. She didn’t mean to gloat. She wasn’t showing off. Was this always a competition and not friendship?
I guess it was. Lost an illusion, if anything at all.
Her big ring. Her new house. Degree of jealosy – much less. Her gossips and toothy laugh. Degree of irritation – a lot. Her remarks on my bad luck and stagnant life. Degree of pity for her -nothing.
I reset my mind. Block out her voice and while she talks, I say “hmmm” and “ahh” and “yeaah” and “totally” at the right places. She orders. We eat. We promise to meet again. Degree of excitement – nothing. She pays. We leave.
I walk home. Degree of remorse – a lot. The coldness creeps in my heart; freezes over the part where I had fondness for her. I turn around. Watch her get in her car. Degree of anything…any thing at all – nothing.