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Two Pokémon: Bulbasaur & Eevee photo

001. Bulbasaur

“The blub-like pouch on its back grows larger as it ages. The pouch is filled with numerous seeds.” – Pokémon Stadium

Lazy, we sat in the sun and ate our lunches during recess. The pouches on our backs were the same. Their contents the same. We ate the same things—today a sandwich thick with meat and cheese, tomorrow slices of cold pizza, pepperoni cupped and glazed over with grease. Your body blossoms, and though you wait a year mine does not follow. When I stretch out on the grass now, you kick gravel my way and call me repugnant. Do you know the weight I carry? The meals I skip in futility? Friend, the pouch on my back grows larger by the day; its contents will be spectacular. When it bursts, I will come to see you. At last, my figure will transfix your gaze.


133. Eevee

“An extremely rare Pokémon that may evolve in a number of different ways depending on stimuli.” – Pokémon FireRed

That young, you could be anything you wanted except yourself.  What is the self, anyhow? A thing we become without realizing it, a bundle of nerves and skin and organs with a consciousness shaped by others. Your others gave you confidence in your body. They praised your tongue. You were content with both and learned how to use them against me, my own image soft and impressionable.

Suddenly, you changed. Or the world around us changed and you, too comfortable in yourself, did not. More likely the former. I see you when we are older sometimes and you are still beautiful, still know yourself as beautiful, and you spend what little time we have together smiling, proud of the features you’ve maintained. And while our world will always appreciate your body, the rest of you is otherwise featureless. I hear you are the manager of a bar that’s going out of business. I hear you are dating one woman, and then another woman, a slew of women—all of them leave you. When I see you next I try to sympathize, but can’t. You are getting older; the women you see are getting older, too. So aged, who chooses a man whose blunt tongue won’t evolve?


image: Michele Chidester