When I spy you through the peephole after you knock, I open the door surprised and ask, "So, what are you doing?" like I would if I'd run into you on the street or in a club or were talking to you on the phone. Like it's normal for you to show up at my apartment in at 1:40 in the morning in the middle of the week. You look down, don't look me in the eye, and answer, "Ruining my life" before walking in.
We sit in the small living room choked with pot smoke and computers and audio equipment, you perched on the edge of the futon that serves as a couch, small hands folded on your knees. I ask if you want a drink, and you say yes. You sip at the whiskey and Coke and take a drag from the pipe I pass you. "So," I ask again, "what are you doing?" You talk, but I want to hear what you're not saying. I notice you don’t talk about him, don't say his name. You don't tell me why you’ve come here to ruin your life, and I'm listening intently for the reason you've decided to make an apocalypse out of me.
I watch your hair fall over your face, casting shadows as you put the glass down, deserted ice cubes clinking at the bottom. Your eyes still won't meet mine, but they're softer, less sad than when you arrived. I stand up still holding the pipe and move towards you, hold it against your lips until you pull back, smoke tumbling from you like you're a tiny dragon. I pull you to your feet and kiss your closed mouth, your cheek, the side of your neck. You murmur something into my hair and I wait. Maybe you've changed your mind. Maybe you're going to walk back out that door. I listen. "Please," you whisper against my ear. I walk you backwards towards to the bedroom, backwards to the end of your life.