Walking to the bus stop after spending a day watching the gallery, a man stopped me on the street by tapping my shoulder. He looked into my eyes, pulling his brows together slightly. "You belong to me," he said. I've just returned to LA from the other side of the country.
I can see it there, and I know it's not intended to be mine. But even so you have so much, so very much, that surely you won't notice when I take only a little bit--wrapped in tissue paper, placed carefully in a breast pocket, or tucked into an used jewelry box in the decaying cushioning foam while your back is turned, your attention diverted. Just an imperceptible amount removed to store away and take with me.
And the next time I see you I will take just a bit, each time nothing more than a tiny fraction. You won't notice it's gone, but I'll get home and add it to a small pile accruing on a shelf, hidden behind the books. Perhaps sometimes you will give it to me even, offer it up or nod agreeably as I take a pinch. You won't know what you're doing, what you're really giving away slowly, bit by bit, is everything, not just that portion of it.
It will take a very long time, but eventually there will be a critical point and it will be mine instead of yours. You won't have noticed, but at some point, and not for a very long time, I will have more than you. I don't know if you will take it back or not; I don't know if you can.