The words were the same each time she split with a boyfriend.
You’re so pretty, dear. You’ll find somebody new.
And she is and was and will always be beautiful but the times between boys felt as black as the color the Korean girl was painting her toenails. Williamsburg waited while she went into hiding and cried into a pillow on the UES.
Her mother took her tea when her tears became less frequent and the Earl Grey was floral and hot in her throat. She ate a corner of a finger sandwich and only went to the washroom to check if he had texted her a dozen times instead of twenty which was, mother said, something.
When she finally dragged herself out of bed at three in the afternoon it was to get a latte and smoke the first Parliament of the day on her way there.
She texted and texted hello hello please write me but he never wrote back, and one cold April afternoon when she tried his number it turned out that it had changed.
Mother found her a place helping at the museum, two days a week, and on her lunch break she looked at the books in the gift shop, which was close to the door that she had to exit to smoke her lunch.
Into the ether the emails went and the texts floated out with no response and no answer. His band was playing on a Thursday in Alphabet City, a show that she should know better to attend. She teased her hair big to feel brave and winged out eyeliner as thick as it could go.
She got there during the sound check.
(not too early and not too late)
(not too desperate, careful, pretty girl)
They played and he sang and she clapped like everyone did because they were good and he; he was magnetic. They were special. He was perfection and she gazed on him and had never stopped loving him, and needed to tell him, or touch him, be close to him like before.
She chased him through the crowd to the bar where he got a beer and swatted her off like she was a mosquito.
I have a show to play he said.
Can we talk later she asked but he brushed her away for the stage and the girls and guys and the attention. She followed him to the afterparty, too, where he ignored for the drug-laden mirror like so many nights before, and she smoked so much that she could not even cry.