p a s i p h a e
he doesn't stop by the next day; i brush away the glimmer of disappointment and go by the diner across the street and my lips pull into a tired smile when i see him curled up in a chair; but it's the way his breaths are uneven and the way his eyes are unfocused, and the way the scent of alcohol lingers around him like a cloud, that has me asking "hey, are you alright?"
after a moment of hesitation he stands up abruptly and says, "i'll be fine, don't worry." but it's the way he sways on his feet and wipes a shaky hand across his forehead that has me asking, "you sure about that?"
and it's the way he avoids looking at me and looks out the window, saying "i don't live very far, i can walk" that has me thinking maybe he doesn't have anywhere (anyone) to go to and it's the way his adam's apple bobs uncertainly along the length of his throat and the way he coughs loudly that has me saying,"you're in no condition to go anywhere. c'mon," i add when he hesitates, "wait it out with me. we'll split a panini or something. my treat."
and it's the way looks like he's never been offered a safe haven before that has me adding "It's not a problem really, and i'm not about to let you leave pissed drunk, especially since it's so late."
and maybe it's the soft smile on my lips or my wide molasses eyes or perhaps it's an unexpected act of kindness that has him flashing me a warm crooked smile, slurring his words ever so slightly as he says, "well, if you insist."