Everyone should be like me

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To be clear, I’m the bad guy here.
Impatient. Something I inherited from my father.
But, I’m nice to her. I don’t want to be nice.
I force myself to take the high road.
I greet her. Hello, Gretchen.
She smiles, says, Hi, how are you?
She doesn’t remember my name.
We are in yoga class together
three times a week.
The class is not large.
I know everyone’s name.

Everyone should be like me.

Gretchen is vivacious.
She tells us stories of her exploits
in Mexico where she has a house.
She talks and talks meeting our eyes, wanting contact.
This happens in the ten to fifteen minutes before class.
A rectangle of sunlight crawls across the floor.
I wonder if she notices.
I wonder if it edges nearer warming to her story
or wishing to quiet her with a blinding brightness.

Gretchen doesn’t listen.
Or pretends not to listen.
I think she pretends.
The teacher corrects her, often.
No, Gretchen, the other leg forward.
No, Gretchen, we’re not doing the bind.
No, Gretchen, hips forward, not back.

One day she tells us she’s a recovered drug addict.
Her mother died when she was very young
sending her into a downward spiral.
I’m a terrible person.
I want to believe her, but I have my doubts.
She drives a BMW, and wears expensive
outfits, coordinated with care.
I can afford a BMW, but I don’t want one.

Everyone should be like me.

I could befriend her, ask questions she’d
be delighted to answer, dig up the real story.
How much does she understand about herself?
Does she know how she comes off to others?
I could find out. People tell me things.
Something in my face makes them want to open up.
I could discover the truth.
But, I don’t.

Everyone should be like me.

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