Out to Justify His Loneliness

Split pea soup the daily soup and the quickness with which the pert waitress serves me water in a tall glass sort of perverts my idea of romance. Mainly beautiful people go to restaurants this late at night in a college town. Though I’m not beautiful I stare enrapt. Rapt, I put my things in order— my paper, my pen, my wallet, and my smile, as is proper to my station. I am lonely, but I can take it. I eat as slowly as I can. I write a line. I try to catch the eye of a woman with a woman and some wine. I am a man full of thought, thoughtful, even though I am not beautiful, who eats a cup of split pea soup because his home has too many people in it to justify his loneliness and who would rather be romantic and raise a sad and meaningful eye to mainly beautiful people at a restaurant this late at night than be at home where his chances are known. Romance, where is your glory Romance? You are all mystery, beautiful mystery. I put my appearance to your test and wait. I can take it. But nothing happens. I finish my soup. I sip my water. My heart is nearly broken for having no reason to be broken.

15 June 1978