When I was 16, I made the discovery - love. All at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half in the shadow, that’s how it struck the world for me. But I was unlucky…
“Did you ever love me?” I ask her back, though by now I can’t even care. She pauses.
“I thought about it and yeah, I did once. I mean I really did. Everything was all right for a while. You were kind.” She looks down and then goes on.
“But it was like you weren’t there. Oh shit, this isn’t going to make any sense.” She stops.
I look at her, waiting for her to go on, looking up at the billboard. Disappear Here.
“I don’t know if any other person I’ve been with has been really there, either … but at least they tried.”
I finger the menu; put the cigarette out.
“You never did. Other people made an effort and you just … It was just beyond you.” She takes another sip of her wine. “You were never there. I felt sorry for you for a little while, but then I found it hard to. You’re a beautiful boy, Clay, but that’s about it.”
I watch the cars pass by on Sunset.
“It’s hard to feel sorry for someone who doesn’t care.”