-1Justin, while sitting at the architects table

Justin is sitting at the architects table. His back is straight and his eye are focused forward in the stinging way that they always are. His whole attention is fixed on what's in front of him. I am sitting to his left, watching him, but he does not look at me. In his concentration his eyes don't even square themselves to find me in their corners. When he is frustrated his lips purse together - two simple sentences - and his hands flatten and tap the air a few inches above the table, moving as though wanting to hit the surface but unsure of the action, just the same.

Obscurely, he mentions that Kathy called him earlier today. I examine my fingernails before replying: 'Who's Kathy?'

He says: 'Faith's mom!' I try and picture this woman in my head before he continues. Kathy, woman, wife - mother of Faith. The kind of woman who would name her daughter Faith. I wonder if she's religious? A blond or a brunette? Was she young when she gave birth to her lovely daughter who slept with him before and after he went to rehab? Before and after he was arrested? Are they at all like each other? Close? Distant? Two halves of the same connection? Is Faith just flesh that happens to be forged from Kathy? Or is she just Faith?

I think that if I ever met Faith I would have nothing to say to her.

He continues his story: 'She just wanted to thank me for helping out at the Christmas Tree Farm this past holiday. She said that she always liked me, and that she was sad to hear that Faith and I weren't together anymore.' His smile is like a mask. I can never read him correctly.

I grin: 'What did you do at the Christmas Tree farm?' I ask. 'Did you cut down tree's?'

'No,' he pauses, 'I mostly showed people the trees. Told them something about each one. Like, 'this is a Noble' 'this is a Douglas Fir' and then I spun them...' I don't ask anymore questions. I tell myself that I don't care, and in a way I don't. He gets up, leaves, and comes back several times. I don't have to ask him about the break up; he tells me anyway.

He leaves. Comes back.

Jerrica, his new one, runs marathons. She jumps rope professionally and works for the humane society. I feel like a child compared to these girls. A naked shadow in their luminous sunlight. A silly, unwanted apparition, yet he does not leave me. He confides in me. Brushes his hand against my stomach before he gets up, and really goes.

A/N - a seriously old piece, written originally in January 2008. Everything is true; I pretty much transcribed the whole conversation verbatim from my perspective. Justin is one of those people that you can't live with, or in my case, can't live without. Much to my eternal chagrin, but hey, at least he gives me a lot of inspiration, right?