Breakup 1.0

We sit. Light banter. Awkward vibes.
I wait until we have drinks in hand to
say again I am not sure where this is
going. What are you looking for what
do you need he asks. I need to know
what you are passionate about what is
your 10-year plan your hopes your
dreams. He looks blank he struggles
he can find only a few halting words.
I rattle on about my love for books
and poetry and how I need to find a
job that will leave me time and energy
to write. I talk about anything how my
coffee shop closed and how it is hard
to pick a book for book club and how
I never see my parents. And I look
across the table and there is juice
running down his hand as he eats a
fajita and how silly to be annoyed at
his eating when I am going to break
up with him. He has not learned on
dates and business lunches not to
order messy food spill-prone soups
oily steaming dangerous dishes. I stay
safe with the stuffed poblano pepper
that says I am spicy adventurous but
neat and tidy too. The waiter has
disappeared and so has our sangria
how much longer can this take I think.
Trendy Mexican restaurant now busy
overpriced and I remember my favorite
Mexican takeout at Crazy Burrito best
refried beans ever with the jukebox
that startled you like a car alarm with
loud music in Spanish and the tv tuned
to telenovelas or football or wacky
game shows I never deciphered. And
finally the check and he says we have
plenty of time to make the show and
I stop him and reach for the faux
leather folder enclosing the price of
our final scene last act together. So
this is it he says. Yes. I pay and we
wait a few more awkward moments
I make a careful show of confirming
the tip then we are outside and I say
good luck good bye we hug. I walk
away each block delivering more
relief more certainty of my choice
I am right. I smile. I walk home.

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