the burger i ate had bacon in it

We gathered for burgers and sodas and fries. Celebrated successes brought about by a dozen sleepless nights huddled in coffeeshops. One of us had already breached the finish line. Another has a fresh laurel to hang. The other, anticipating a trophy. The rest, sprinting the last hundred meters. We found it unusual to hang out without the books and laptops and the silence we used to keep us steady on the tracks. This time there were words, and we had to use them, hand them to each other in exchange for the other, so on, so forth. Several minutes in – every muscle in my body turns magnetic, looks for the true north, it’s not here, not in this table, in this room, in this city. Nowhere nowhere nowhere

how do i tell this band of wide-eyed, titanium-built athletes that i cannot see my finish line, that i wish i had their faith, that i do not have laurels but wounds and scars and bad decisions—-

i spilt a cup of water when i tried reaching for the boardgame. i said the word sorry hoping it would soak up all the mess. this is all i could bring to this table, always. somehow they accept it. they always do that.

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