title: the restaurant date: 2013-09-16 archive_section: words featured: true tags: short-story

I’m sitting in a restaurant, one of those places where everyone is always on a date. I’m sitting by myself: The waiter keeps asking me when my date is going to show up. I already told him, I don’t have one, he laughs and walks away. I don’t know how I got myself into this situation. Maybe I should have been more understanding, a little bit more flexible. Maybe I should have told somebody what I was planning before I went through with it, not that it would have made difference, but things might have turned out better. Who knows?

They say passionate people are attractive, but they can be hard to keep up with. Sometimes you just do what they say because it seems like they have it together. I guess I started seeing people more for what they could do for me than for what we could mean to each other. Nobody likes being used, and I don't like using people. The problem is, I can’t stop believing what I believe! I can’t stare oppression in the face and not fight back. I can’t say, “they’re my friends, I can’t use them to fight you.” Maybe that would have been better than getting us arrested. Still, when you believe in something like I do, sometimes its hard to put even people you care about first.

Here comes the waiter again, no, I don’t have a date! Normally I would, see? Layla said I’d changed, that the guy she knew wouldn’t break windows, much less light buildings on fire. Luckily she didn't snitch or I would still be in jail. Maybe we'd all be in jail. I guess its true that you end up hurting the people you love. Dammit Layla! Why did you have to leave? I thought you were stronger, I thought you were one of us, I thought we were in this together.

You and I, we made things happen. We made the collective happen, we made people into our own brand of space-monkey. (Maybe you saw them differently.) We were a beautiful machine, we could have made a real difference, but I guess there is no "we" anymore, is there? Just me, just you and nothing but scorched bricks and broken glass between us.