I'm Thinking of Ending Things ★★★★½

I'm Thinking of Starting Things.

She sits on the other side of the bar. She is a challenge. She laughs with her girlfriend, and there is not a man in sight between then to provide competition. She does not waste time pretending to know your words, inquisitive as to vocabulary you spit as you scribble a number on a napkin; she is a poet, a painter, a physicist; she worships Pauline Kael and derides the maximalism of performance, A Woman Under the Influence of middlebrow interests she's raised from to talk art; she talks psychology and debates, whether a mother's love, or lack thereof, could have made you this way, could have made her who she is; she sees the cold lambs not yet buried in the ground and she is saddened, heart warm still in the cold snow on that farm with family crumbling like the pen where the pigs used to live; she has a name, Lucy or Louisa, or is it Amy... never particularly important as names are just a label given by parents, who raise you to be good, so good, but that ringing in your mother's ears stings the same as the lapses in your head,in these memories of your own making; she is the kind of girl that catches her eyes, a sharpness that usually doesn't come with this warmth and softness, the kind of girl who catches the eye of an outcast girl in the corner of a milkshake shop; she doesn't quite know how to say no, a series of non answers to a professor that spiral and now she can't quite forget; she wants to go home, home to her apartment, not to be here in this parking lot, in this blizzard, by this cold dark high school. She is a challenge you were not up to, but here you are anyway.

You never gave her that napkin, with a scrawled phone number in dark blue ballpoint, but that doesn't matter. She's off with her lover, remembering that creep from trivia night the way she and her remember every other, but she is also with you dancing a pas de deux in an empty hallway, wanting so badly to end it knowing something's wrong something's wrong because even this daydream can't hide that you're all thinking of ending things

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