How To Win The Night

Poetry, Writing

By Will Montgomery

begin with a greeting and smile often. 

don’t talk too much or too little, cultivate comfortable silences and get to know him. or at least make a good show of it, this won’t be on the exam.

make an effort to bring up an injury you had as a child. bonus points for a cool scar.

avoid any mention of similarities between then and now. hate then love now, hate now love then, doesn’t matter. dealers choice, keep them seperate.

remember that snake eyes means go back two spaces and first player to third base gets out of jail free.

don’t bring up hawaiian pizza or eggs benedict. hawaiian pizza is consolation dinner. eggs benedict is consolation breakfast. 

try mentioning that you’d rather be in a red radio flyer wagon plummeting down a hill. it’s autumn, you’re eleven. he’ll just nod but he understands.

because if you read the little white book stapled onto the lid of the box 

you’d know that if he:

  • smells good
  • makes me laugh
  • likes my new shirt
  • has eyes that flash like a vacancy sign
  • is

it’s a sure fire recipe for a winning night.

when i dream about being chased through an empty house, you have not won the night. I won that night.

if he feels good but not loved

if he hates Mark Rothko now

if he agrees to go double or nothing

if he drills a hole into the wall

if he drills a hole into the ceiling

if he puts up christmas lights and takes them down the same day

if he drops half his classes

if he misses his train

if he keeps losing his wallet

if he can’t focus on a thought you could say he keeps losing his train of thought and you could say you won the night.

you’ll know you’ve won the night when he approaches you with two stones in the palm of his hand and when you reach out to take them neither falls to the floor.

you’ll know you won the night when he rewards you with a photograph

if he’s obsessed with patterns, disregard everything prior. 

you’ve won the night regardless.

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