It’s like there’s a microphone hanging over everything I say, I tell him.
It’s not like that, he says.
Besides, I always make myself the bad guy.
Not that I mind, I say, I’m careful to add that.
That’s not the point, I tell him.
You take things out of context. I sound like a nag, I tell him, nagging.
You could do it, he says.
But I won’t, I say.
And I think, for a moment, that I mean it.
We are quiet.
We sip our beers.
On the subway there is a sign for happiness
and right below it another one.
I didn’t know happiness was advertising.
One is written in pink.
The other blue. Like the colors people subscribe to babies.
I stare at the word for so long, it comes apart.
The letters separate and spread like when you run your hand through a spider web.
The p’s pull apart
until they are just pink and blue letters.
Until letters are just shapes
and they blur into a smear of language.
I start to wonder if it’s a message for me.
I want to tell him about this at the bar.
I want to ask him if he thinks it’s a message.
But instead I ask him what order the Gomez albums were recorded in.
I tell him I want to listen to them in order.
He perks up.
This one, he can answer.
16 hours ago