I texted her today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. The text said, “Hello. Would you care to accompany me to a café tomorrow for a piece of dry toast?” Which leaves matters doubtful; it could have been yesterday.
I had to run to catch the bus. I suppose it was my hurrying like that, what with the glare off the road and from the sky, the reek of gasoline, and the jolts, that made me think about texting her again. How long had it been since I last texted? I did not want to appear desperate. Anyhow, I slept most of the way. When I woke I was leaning against a soldier; he grinned and said I looked like a man who was waiting for a text, and I just nodded, to cut things short. I wasn’t in a mood for talking. I was in a mood for texting. But then again, maybe I wasn’t.
I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of “k.”
When we lived together, She was always texting me, but we hardly ever talked. During her first few weeks at home she used to cry a good deal. But that was only because I would sometimes forget to put a smiley face at the end of a text. After a month or two she’d have cried if I forgot to include a birthday cake emoji because this, too, would have been a wrench. That was why, during the last year, I seldom texted her.
I said that people never change their texts, that in any case one text was as good as another and that I wasn’t dissatisfied with my texts at all.
Now, in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how often she now ignores my texts, there’s something stronger—something better—in learning to accept that whether or not she texts me back, life drags on.
It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky, for the first time I no longer felt compelled to text her. To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I’d been happy, and that I no longer needed to feel my phone vibrate in my trousers. For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution I should receive a flurry of texts, and do nothing more than turn off my phone and cast it away.