Having a crush on your best friend is
like being hungry and at the same
time really having to go to the bath-
room. If you choose not to tell your best friend, you
risk all of the private indignities that accompany a
slow and painful death by starvation (don’t forget for
a moment that hunger can be malnourished, too).
If you choose to tell your best friend,
you will merely have to go to the bath-
room even more, if only (perhaps) to cry. They say
there once lived a Spartan who allowed a fox to eat at
his own entrails rather than admit to his friends that
he stole the beast for supper; so for the pride of Sparta,
obey the truth of your own history: Muster the plaintive-
ness of a latter-day Hamlet; concoct a pose, a swagger,
an inscrutability that can only be described–
if it were ever actually observed-– as Bryon-
ic. Wait for the day she tells you she thinks
she is dying (of, say, ‘sadness’ or ‘cancer’ or ‘pining
for an ex-lover’). Tell her you think she has a flair for the drama-
tic. You won’t mean it as a compliment. But it’s generally
considered acceptable to laugh over an hors d’oeuvre.
*This was a type-writer poem composed for a stranger. The topic requested was: ‘Self-restraint’.