My phone rang this morning while I stood at my desk, dealing with the usual barrage of problems that weren’t mine- an unidentified number from Seattle, WA. I don’t answer calls while I’m working, but there it was: Seattle, WA. So I answered, hasty, tight with panic that didn’t belong to 8:53 AM on a Thursday.
An unearned déjà vu flooded my ears before sound; a familiarity I have neither written nor spoken, but indelible nonetheless from the countless times played in my head: endless visions of disaster. Visions of answering an unknown number and hearing you, calling from the other end of a gun to say goodbye. Calling from a payphone next to a ditch, at the nasty end of a bender. Calling from the top of a building, from the middle of a bridge, from the edge of a cliff, from the bottom of a well. Do they have many of those in Washington? Continue reading “Déjà Vu”
I don’t think it’s love that’s a lie, but maybe the way that we tell it. What are the odds of happiness, anyway? The American Dream seems statistically unlikely, when you think about it.
When I left you I thought it was, in a word, impossible. Impossible to have happened, impossible to live with. Even leaving halfway across the world didn’t seem quite far enough to make you Gone. What followed was a year that didn’t feel real; twelve months in someone else’s job, reminding myself that this suspended foreign reality was temporary, and that I would go home and go on with my life because there were no other choices, even if you wouldn’t be there anymore. I opened the cracked window above my head that slanted over the roof of my little blue room up in the mossy, cloudy spires of Somewhere New, and I thought about my choices. London lay in stone before me- infinite possibility still so limited by time and money and energy. By me. I hadn’t slept in months, between the best and the worst of the last year, and I couldn’t sleep then.
Continue reading “Impossible Odds”
I remember changing my calendar over to May, and smiling tired at the face of the new month as it smiled back at me, standing in the 6:26 morning light without sleep and looking askance at the picture of myself in the long mirror on the door, where a handle should be. I thought, here it is: one constant in a world of uncertain things, this still familiar picture on my wall.
Two days later I couldn’t remember what the picture was, anymore. I locked the front door on my way in and flipped on the light to find April, solidly, looking back.
I tried to remember if I had been dreaming, but I didn’t remember having slept, so- what was there left to do? I went to the wall and put April on its end, looking up (again) at (another) familiar face. There was nothing else I could do- so I left it staring back at me, and I wondered- what else have I been imagining?
There are 20 minutes left in this day, and I’m ready not to think anymore.
All I want to do- were I unhampered by all these pressing eyes- is to sit and think, staring at nothing in particular, about your face. I wonder how it’s changed since you’ve been gone? I say that you’ve been gone because you left, even though it was more of a literal inevitability than a gesture of abandonment. It didn’t feel any better.
15 minutes left. Continue reading “Minutes”
“I’m just tired of living like a fucking nomad.”
I stopped trying to shove yesterday’s jeans into my work purse and exhaled frustration. He had lent me sweatpants again; because I had slept over again, because we saw each other post 9pm again, because it was the only time we could get together and I felt guilty if I only stayed an hour. Again.
“You can keep some stuff here, you know” he said, in the same way he always did.
“I know. But then I wouldn’t have it at home. I just hate carrying everything back and forth all the time, it drives me nuts.”
I just want to go home, hang up my sweater where it won’t get wrinkled, put my underwear in the laundry where it will stay and not revisit the same bra again six hours after I take it off. I just want to go home. Continue reading “Before the Break(up)”
I wished it was over as soon as it began. I wondered vaguely what I had wanted, what the disconnection was between what my head wanted and what my body clearly could do without.
I didn’t know how to tell him I didn’t care if I finished, because I’d rather he just end it so I could go home and sleep. Maybe I just liked knowing someone wanted me- because the sweat, the pain, and the awkward recognition of fakery in my own voice I could do without. I didn’t bother to fix any of it because I didn’t really care. Continue reading “Casual”