Exploding Balloons

One of these days, we're gonna need a balloon release. The kind that wheezes and whistles in thick air, smacks against white walls and the white in our eyes until there's nothing left but sagged wishful thinking. When the Russian boy said goodbye at dusk, he said it with a tinge of laughter and three shades of regret: "thanks for the friendship," he said to Tian. "Thanks." He was sitting on his motorcycle when he took out the cigarette and lit it, and for a moment I wished I didn't have my headphones on earlier while he talked about the girl he moved in with five days after he met her, the girl who'd gone all the way to Qingdao to deliver a lie, the girl he's leaving because there was nothing left for him here, anymore.

I wish I wasn't so wind up lately, like a clam, my universe a vacuum of deadlines, clients, deliverables, and a smattering of passion, that I'd miss stories like these, because the moment when he said to Tian, "thanks for the friendship," my heart broke to pieces, and when he moved away into the apartment, disppearing to a shadow, I wanted to grab him into a hug and tell him, "Mr. Bird, thanks for the music."

Exploding ballons like these seconds squeezed into minutes. I live so much each day I can't breathe. Thanks Mr. Bird, for poking at these taut exteriors, and reminding me that that was it, those moments, these moments, with you and I gazing at the stoplights, with you and I watch ing the light glaze over the trees, with you and I and the city and the incandescent thought bubbles balloons balloons balloons.