Can I Ask You

This work was loosely inspired by Helga Floros, and of course, the subject of this piece, whom I deeply adore but don’t yet know very well.


Do you believe in religion? I don’t. But some higher power keeps crossing our ways. Do you prefer mangoes or grapes? Let me feed you tea and oranges, like Cohen’s Suzanne. Is the nostalgia of old photos like bougainvilleas in your stomach or needles in your chest? You wear that red ring. Do you believe in superstitions? Are you afraid of regrets? I am, on late nights. How do you like your coffee? I think life’s too short. But aren’t Tuesdays too long to bear? I want to bring you your favorite dessert. Is it normal to be able to read someone’s mind? I don’t think you’re lazy, but just tired of being a human being sometimes. Can I go grocery shopping with you? I’ll see what ice cream you like. Did you love the pool since you were a child? I prefer the mountains. I know you’d rather go to the beach. What’s your favorite weather? I’ll make you your comfort meal. What did your mother cook for you when you were sick? I used to love eating pomegranates in a fever. Can I ask you things you don’t ordinarily say? There’s a crinkle on your nose and a very light snore when you sleep. What cereal do you like for breakfast? I can be nosy, I know. What cartoon did you watch as a kid? I don’t know how to be diplomatic. Would you say your feelings are involved? You must know how you feel. Can you sit in the kitchen and look me in the face? I don’t find it obvious what you want. It scares me. Can I play with your hair? I know it annoys you.

rochi zalani
Rochi is a full-time writer for fancy tech companies. In her free time, she writes her newsletter and reads fiction.

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