In this autumn of disappointment
I wore my brand new birthday sweater
not yet knowing
the fuzzy balls would soon sprout all over
like overnight dandelions.
I cursed myself for arriving
before the lights dimmed.
Better to risk a bad seat
than endure curious stares
from dozens of couples.
I invented alibis, just in case:
“He’s in the bathroom.”
“He’s buying popcorn.”
Then—“He stood me up.”
But no one spoke.
Why didn’t I just wait for the rental?
I’m tired of too much school and work but no life.
I’m tired of unreturned emails from my best friend.
I’m tired of this crushing isolation.
A night out will do me good, I reasoned.
As an American Beauty rose unfolded in the dark
the melancholy thorns pricked me
while I sought a beautiful escape.
No longer naive
I rushed to my car before the credits rolled
and my loneliness multiplied
like mushrooms after rain.