It rained on the day we went to the zoo. It wasn't the duck and cover rain of the apocalypse but a silent documentary on the history of mime kind of rain. I lit a cigarette while you stared at your watch. The red-assed baboons weren't very entertaining. That's what my father used to call them red-assed baboons. The old man was never subtle. He used language like a shotgun, fire whatever you got and hope it hits something. I'm the opposite. I like to say what I mean and mean it. I don't talk much.
Our relationship is based on silences. Anticipation and echoes in thought and movement mark our state of togetherness, or some horseshit like that. Today our collective silence gnaws at the inside of my gut. Queasy and irritating, I'd rather make small talk with strangers. I'm always like this when we argue.
You stop, put on lip balm. "Well?" Your small voice shattering our soundless void.
I want to pick the right words, nothing feel appropriate. I don't want to fire a shotgun and blow everything to hell. I am not my father's son. Those damn red-assed baboons are staring at me like I'm less evolved, and there's too much non-commital rain, and sometimes I wish I was one of those, pick the girl up and swing her around the field of wildflowers while schmaltzy 70's pop music plays in the background sort of guys, but I'm not.
"Yeah." I reply, feeling like a moron. "If you think so."
There are these weird moments when you realize that thumbs are important. Moments when you have this small, odd, beautiful epiphany that her fingers fit perfectly into the spaces in-between yours.
I know that's a terribly romantic notion, and I know that terribly romantic things have fallen out of fashion. Make a small exception and allow me this conceit. I swear that, as we walked away, the red-assed baboons smiled.