when Gwen calls.
the guy in glasses and a tweed jacket is
so far ahead that no one's going to catch up.
"I'm fine," she says,
"just tired of boyfriends."
I can hear her smile.
I mute the TV and put my feet up
on the bed that has been making
such a good ottoman.
"I just wish that things
were different, you know?
that things were always good."
I see the leading player
wager too much.
"Romance is overrated.
I just want companionship and sex and
someone to feel safe with. Why does
everything need a label? Can't we just
all be happy together?"
I wonder where she first heard that
because it doesn't really sound like
something that a girl as pretty as her
would ever be forced to think up herself.
And the man on TV got the question wrong
and he lost most of his money.
"Because that's not how it works," I say.
But I hate that how things are
is rarely how I want them to be."
I nod and unmute the TV
just as the other two players reveal
that they got it wrong, too
and bet too much money themselves
so the first guy still won.
"It's the way that things are," I say.
"What is 'unfortunate?'" she says,
the theme song swelling underneath