maybe just a little too sensitive

by Anthony M. Powers

a pretty girl from across the bar smiles at me.
i smile back and look away
as quickly as i can
and take a long hit from the bottle in front of me.
i glance back and she's talking to some other guy
with a goatee and a bottle of Bud,
a plaid shirt and long sideburns.
they're both smiling.
for a second i think that could have been me
but i know better than that.
alex and christian are talking about sex and i try my best
to ignore it, because i haven't gotten any since i broke things off
with lynsey,
the latest ex in a long list of exes
alex being one of them herself.
she turns to me and says something like
"do you know what your problem is when it comes to girls?"
she must mean other than the fact that they're all
completely insane.
or at least all the ones i've dated.
i take the bait and ask "what?"
"you have a really specific type."
the part of me that's been effected by the 6 beers i've had
in the past hour and a half thinks
maybe this is flirting.
"you only like needy girls, anyone who's easy to get to"
i take another long drink
"you're afraid of commitment, etc..."
she goes on long enough for me to pay my tab and finish my beer
and then she goes on even longer
and eventually she says
"you only like girls who are easy-
easy to meet,
easy to leave,
easy to fuck."
and something snaps and my temper flares up
"i'll see you guys later."
i stand up and she grabs my arm
but i slip out of it easy enough
and walk through the parking lot.
i hear them yelling for me but i don't look back.
my house is 2 blocks away and i take a shortcut
through a cemetery.
before i really know what i'm doing,
i'm running full speed through the darkness and the headstones.
i feel my stomach turning inside out,
like there's something
it's way through me, with teeth and nails and knives
and my lungs catch fire and every step hits
the pavement with every heart beat
and the atmosphere seems to pulsate with my anger and fear
and the whole big everything looks down at me from the stars
and up at me from its graves
and i could still feel that something ripping up my insides.
i slowed my pace and collapsed in a breathless heap
and i felt the universe laughing at me,
half drunk, weak in the knees, grass-stained, confused,
and alex tries to call me to apologize, but i tell her
she has nothing to be sorry for, because she was right,
she was just too right.
and i try to catch my breath but can't
and i wish for a darkness more black than this
to last forever
and i could still feel that something ripping up my insides
and i wonder when
if ever
this misery
this depression
this being fucked up
would finally
but maybe i'm too sensitive
or more than likely,
just too drunk.