Steve and I have a chat...
Today's the Day I Change
By Merlee Tomlin
"Whelp, today's the day I change."
"Oh? And what makes today any different than yesterday?"
I looked at Steve, my eyes ablaze with passion. "My nae friend, don't you see? It's Tuesday."
Steve shot a flabbergasted look at me. "No! Really?"
"I know, I'm excited too."
Steve's expression grew colorful. "And here I thought Tuesdays came around every seven days. What a fool I've been."
I just smiled at him. "You don't understand."
"I just can't believe it," Steve said. "This is the Tuesday. I can't believe it's here. I heard it was a myth."
"Steve, come on, quit it," I said
"But it's Tuesday. Tuesday!"
I smiled big. "Thirteen years ago, a teacher asked me-
"When Tuesdays coming?"
"Shut up Steve. My teacher asked me when I was going to change my ways and stop being such a nudnik."
"What's a nudnik?"
"I don't know, but I told her, Tuesday. Tuesday will be the day I change. She obviously thought next Tuesday but in my head, I said, 'thirteen years from now,' and here we are thirteen years later. The day I told her I would change."
"So, we're just gonna glaze over the fact that this isn't the only Tuesday in existence?"
"At some point today, I will change."
"Into what?" Steve asked, switching back to a normal expression.
"I don't know."
"How don't you know?"
"I just don't know, and that's what's beautiful about it. It's like I'm opening a present on Christmas morning only instead of some toy, or new sweater, or socks, it's a new me; a new slate."
"I'm confused," Steve said. "You say you're going to change because you said you would thirteen years ago?"
"Yes," I said.
"But that's not how that works. If you want to change, don't you have to put in the work? Aren't you supposed to actually do something to change? Like, you gotta be the one to change your clothes, or cut your hair. Or maybe not cut, but you gotta make the decision to go to the place where someone else cuts your hair. I just don't get it. Are you changing cause you don't like your life?" Steve's tone grew agitated. "Why do you want to change?"
"I don't want to change. I'm just going to change. I don't know when and I don't know how."
"How do you know? And how do you know you haven't changed already? I mean, you're certainly acting different."
I looked at my dear friend and smiled. "I suppose I won't know."
"Ok, but I will know, right? I'm your best mate. I know you as well as I know the bottom of my feet. I mean, why do you gotta change anyway? Are you doing it to prove a point? That dumb teacher don't know anything about you. Maybe you already changed and don't have to change anymore."
"There's nothing I can do," I said grinning.
"That's stupid. Everybody can do something to not change. I mean, it takes doing something to change. So, you must be trying to change."
"Yeah, you are."
I just smiled.
"Stop smiling!" Steve yelled, turning to me. "Seriously man, you're scaring me. You can't change, I won't let you. Cause you're my best mate and I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't hang out with you, so stop changing. You're not gonna change. It-it's not Tuesday, it's Monday-no, Wednesday. Tuesday's gone, it passed us by. No more changing."
"I'm sorry," I said, still smiling.
"No, not sorry. Don't be sorry. Why are you sorry? Are you saying you're not going to do anything to keep from changing? Don't you get it? You could change into someone who isn't my friend anymore and then I'd have no one. I'd be alone. I don't want to be alone."
"You won't be alone."
"How do you know?"
"The same way I know I'm going to change."
Steve snorted. "Oh yeah? So, you don't know you're going to change. That's the only explanation, 'cause you don't even know what you're gonna change into. You can't sit there and tell me you aren't going to change into someone who isn't gonna be my friend."
Steve sniffled and I sighed continuing looking up at the sky.
"You're going to be fine," I told Steve.
"How do you know?"
"I just do."
Steve sniffled again and leaned back up against the wall and started looking up at the sky with me again. We stared for what felt like hours, the wind and fauna bringing life to the world around us.
"You think you might change into an insect?" Steve asked breaking the silence
"A movie star?"
"Anything's possible, right?"
"Weird," Steve said.
"I'm excited," I said.
Steve responded with a humph, then silence for a time before he started talking again. "I'll miss you. Or, I'll miss the guy you were. I hope the new you is someone I can hang with. Or maybe you'll change into a parrot. Or maybe change just means your outer appearance will change and your personality will stay the same. But maybe that's wishful thinking.
"Anything's possible," I said.
"Yeah, I suppose it is." Steve let out a sigh, then out of the corner of my eye I saw him smile. "You know, you really made me hate Tuesdays."
We laughed and sat for while in silence again before I finally stood up. Steve followed.
"Hey," Steve said.
"Yeah?" I responded.
"I hope you change for the better, and hopefully I'll see you on the other side."
"Thanks," I said. "I'll hopefully see you too."
We hugged then left our hangout spot never to return again.