MAYBE IT NEVER WAS
by JACK TOM
I was lying on the floor in the empty room in her apartment where I’d slept the night before. Around ten she came down from her loft bedroom and lied down right next to me, in that little nook between my right arm and my chest.
We spent a few moments staring at the ceiling. There was nothing on it, but that didn’t matter. Sometimes you just have to stare at a ceiling, pretending there’s some sort of wisdom stuck up there, like a piece of gum under a desk.
“my mom is going crazy like you,” she said. “she feels like a person she’s never known before. And she’s sad all the time.”
After saying this she looked over at me. I didn’t turn to see her looking, but I knew she was. I didn’t say anything back, not for a full minute. And a minute can be a really long time, sometimes. I focused on taking a deep breath because I felt like if I didn’t make an effort, my body wasn’t just gonna keep doing it by itself.
“oh, god,” I sighed. “mothers. Poor, poor mothers. I don’t know how they do it. They certainly carry a tough burden, don’t they? I don’t know anyone in the world who has it worse than all of the poor, dear mothers.”
“Jack,” she said. “do you think we’ll ever get back together. I mean, like, later on.”
“I don’t know, babe. I hope so. I hope someday we can both get our lives back in order and that all this craziness will end. It’s just that, well, nothing seems real anymore. But then again, maybe it never was.”