The grass began to grow back sooner than expected, but by then they had already fled to places where they could maintain the illusion of living on a parallel timeline. Names had been scratched off phonebooks, and lovers they had relinquished in the middle of the night had all but melted into an unreliable mesh of fingers and tongues. At random times they stopped mid-step and wondered what it would be like to go back and start anew, or what if it had never happened—but it was too late. And yet, they wondered.

A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

—Langston Hughes

Food for Thought

There probably isn’t much merit in promising the future to somebody. After all, the future is as stable as Io’s surface. What is truly remarkable is when you meet someone whose company you really enjoy but who doesn’t want to promise anything beyond what’s already there, and you’re an idiot going about with your stupid romantic ideals, and you act all apocalyptic and tell them you know what get lost, I need my promises and you’re not giving any, and you go your merry way and probably get to hear what you wanted to hear from someone else eventually but sooner or later all the dreamy wooing explodes in your face quite inexplicably, and you become the downcast type kicking pebbles when by chance you run into this person again and you find out that they don’t hate you, and you ask them why, can’t you see I’m an idiot, and they’re like no, you’re not, I think you’re pretty cool actually, and you understand that the future’s indeed as stable as Io’s surface but if there were such thing as the ability to trace a line and decide who to walk it with it’d be that person, and you’re absolutely sure you wouldn’t want to be an idiot ever ever again lest you screw up this teeny tiny chance that life’s just given you, because even if your own stupid romantic ideals have exploded in your face and you still have some heavy luggage to deal with, you can’t deny how incredibly lucky you are. Now that is something to ponder about.