The end of the world begins with a light drizzle and a red dress that he seems to like—or at least that’s what you think-- although maybe it doesn’t really matter anymore.
Susan Sontag has a lot to say about the ethic of the photograph, but you’re sure she would give you a pass just this once to willingly be an outsider of a different kind looking in, to hide behind your camera lens, to point and shoot at the man with the golden gun for most of the office Christmas party.
(Later, you wonder if your anguish will reflect in those eerily icy portraits.)
After a couple of cleverly named cocktails-- one Antonio Negroni here and a Simone Weil-sky there, and a requisite amount of idle talk, you make your way to Inwood for the after-party which is sure to be much more memorable.
Someone brings out a guitar and cheap beers, and soon enough, you’re singing Tori Amos in front of your professors you’re feeling the pressure to nail the high notes during that part when she screams, Rabbit, where’d you put the keys girl? you’re feeling like flying when they offer their applause like things could go right after all-- a premature judgment.
By the time things wind down, the Bronx 12 has stopped running so you walk home discussing the father in Interstellar with him while she trails a few feet behind, plastered and cold.
She tells him to shut up, but you need to know if he thinks Matthew McConaughey did the right thing as a parent leaving his kids behind--
you need to see a crumb of compassion in those beady cornflake eyes.
She stumbles home—home is one door over from God though she had long since renounced the cross.
And so, three becomes two at the corner of Belmont, and we begin a yelling match in the freezing rain about the spark he says he both felt and did not feel on that one date you had to argue like Socrates to score in the first place and even though a festive golden leaf crown sits still in your soaking wet hair, you begin to feel as worthless as the cracks in the pavement.
(This is not really, this, this, This is not really happening-- you bet your life it is.)
There’s no use at all wrangling with a man who thinks he knows so much and knows so little who thinks he has braved the flood and therefore has seen all there is to see.
An hour passes, and you can no longer feel your fingers so you give up and go your separate ways, fumble into your bedroom, strip down your sopping stockings and curl into bed, shivering, hugging yourself into a sleep as blank as the wings of a dove.
Sanjana Rajagopal is a graduate student studying philosophy in New York City. Her poems have appeared in L'Éphémère Review and Fordham University's Journal of Comparative Literature, Bricolage. You can find her on Twitter @SanjanaWrites, and on Instagram @astrangecharm.