I sat half naked in an oversized leather chair, my hair tangled and sticking to my skin, painting my toenails; royal blue. Its quiet and still with a calming beat coming from the speakers in our bedroom where we do everything but sleep. The dog’s laying on the floor, her chest moving up and down as I look up to see you pass by with a bottle of beer in your hand and no expression on your face.
I tried to write about you tonight, I tried to come up with something so profound you might miss me. But I couldn’t, I failed and I sat down with my pen and paper, restlessly twitching with my eyes shifting, and then I sat down at my keyboard I typed and deleted and I typed and deleted words upon words and nothing came out that exemplified how much you’ll mean to me when I’m gone. I thought about how much more this will hurt me than you, but still nothing. Nothing came out until I sat on the end of my bed swallowed once, took a deep breath, and cried.
This is an endless cycle, you and I. The funny thing is that it’s just me running around you over and over again in my mind. You’re really not involved at all, you’re an innocent bystander watching me love you and there’s nothing you can do about it but wish I’d slow down, wish I’d stop.
I know some day somebody is going to replace you and far faster than spring can push out winter your smell will leave my clothes and I’ll forget how you taste, and the color of your eyes. I know that because I’m anxious for these days, the days when I sit back and close my eyes and don’t feel you breathing under me, it’s going to take time. Contrary to what many people would think of ex lovers these are good memories, your hands and your chest and your tongue. So, for now I smile when I close my eyes and still manage to feel you. Some day these memories will be gone, just like the fresh smell of spring and bright crisp flowers, something hot and sticky and overwhelming will take over in mid July, have me wild eyed and begging for water, and I won’t even realize you’ve left.
I recently found out that my ‘high school sweetheart’ was going to be having a baby, obviously with someone else. We’ve been apart as many years as we were together now and I never really thought about how I would feel or react to this kind of news because well.. it never even crossed my mind, ever. Granted it shouldn’t affect me, he isn’t my boyfriend, he isn’t even really in my life anymore and a large part of me despises him in some way, but I suppose when you spend so many years with someone when something happens to them regardless of your relationship now, mentally it is bound to have some kind of affect on you.
I don’t know if my hands started shaking first or if I started laughing first, and I cant really explain why I had either of those reactions. Maybe because it was just all so weird to hear. In July when I came home from Boston we started talking again for a brief few weeks before I decided I just couldn’t go down that path again, there was crying and confessions and words said that I know only two people who have spent the last seven years emotionally tied in some way would understand. Maybe I laughed out of nervousness and that initial thought of, “Well fuck that could’ve been me, thank god it’s not.” ha.. ha.. and maybe I started shaking because it solidified what I sort of always knew that there was in fact, no turning back and in that instant I knew I would never look at him the same. He wasn’t mine anymore, after seven years it was over, and he wasn’t mine.
But, I’m okay with that.
I sat indian style on the end of the bed and watched you tie your shoes, you were quiet and had never paused before, but this time you sighed and I felt my lungs fill up with your air. You grabbed my face with both your hands, they were warm and smelled like cigarettes, the tips of your fingers reached my scalp and your thumbs settled on the crease of my mouth. You kissed me once and let go, I looked up at you and you grabbed me again, harder and I knew this was it, I started to count backwards from 100 but only made it to 98 before you kissed my forehead and I lost count. By the time I opened my eyes you were gone, I heard the backdoor lock and shut behind you, and I haven’t heard you since.
I just want you to know that I know my attitude sometimes makes you cringe and you hate how I read into everything you (don’t) say and you always think that I don’t understand your humor but that’s only because you don’t understand mine and every response I give you is sarcastic. You’ll never get that though like I’ll never get half the things you come up with (or girls you decide to date) and think are funny, but they are and just because I don’t die laughing doesn’t mean I think you’re offensive, sometimes I have to think on things. So we’ll forever stand there and stare blankly at each other when you make a bizarre sexual joke that I find funny only because it’s mildly inappropriate but I’m too afraid to laugh. I’m writing this to you because I know for whatever reason sometimes you look at this (probably just to see some tits), you’re really strange and I know I can’t say this to your face. I know you think you know that I’m crazy, but I’m not. I just need somewhere to focus my attention and energy or I get bored and think too much. I appreciate you coming to watch me run 5ks and do other dumb shit so forgive me for what I say because you’re my best friend and I only take that because I can’t get more from you and I’m greedy and selfish and I like to sleep in your armpit because I think you’re the most attractive guy I know and you always smell nice and although I think you’re a really big dick, I adore you. More than any other person that doesn’t share my blood, I adore you.
Sometimes I get sad and I don’t want you to take it personally, ever. It’s just me and something’s not right up there but I’m working on it, and you help. I would do a thousand things that make me uncomfortable if you were next to me and I knew you’d squeeze my hand when you start to feel it shake. Like introduce myself in a room full of strangers, or go to a crowded bar on a saturday night, sober. I’d drive through the city without my gps or I’d get drunk in public and not worry about what everyone thinks of me. I’d face a thousand panic attacks with my eyes open, standing straight if I knew you’d put your hand on my lower back when you see my knees start to tremble. Sometimes I stop breathing, like I forget.. what a silly thing to forget. So I take deep breaths and I sigh a lot especially when I look at you, don’t worry that’s just me relaxing. I’m proud to stand next to you, I laugh at anyone that’s ever taken you for granted, how naive. I’d defend you in a room of a thousand people during a panic attack with my eyes open and an empty bottle of xanax and I’d keep breathing no matter how terrified I am if I knew when it’s all over you’d grab my hand.
If I could put last night on repeat I would play it over and over and over again, until it gets scratchy and unreadable, until it skips the little moments between seconds and then the seconds between minutes. I’d pause at all my favorite parts and rewind them and play them back, to see myself smile and to watch you laugh. Every nuzzle into and under your arms as if I had strategically planned them. I’d stare in awe at the moments when your arm tightened around me, I’d rewind and watch again to make sure I wasn’t pretending. I’d pause where I almost kissed you and stopped and I’d watch wondering what you would’ve thought. I’d repeat it over and over until you got so dizzy and bored from going around and around in my brain on the same day that you’d disappear completely and I’m finally forced to move on again.
I haven’t genuinely cried in a long time, I’ve faked it to get what I want which in most cases is to scare someone into going away, it works, try it. But something of any real emotion hasn’t come out of me in awhile. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting used to everything or because I’m more private now. Maybe I just haven’t met anyone or experienced anything recently that’s been worth crying over. I used to cry all the time, everything upset me, I had so many feelings for so many people, I was a mess.
Maybe it’s age, and I know better now. That a real cry, a good cry is deserving of someone or something so genuine that you feel it in your chest before it even happens and you just sit down and you don’t even have to try, it’s uncontrollable, your body just lets go and the tears just flow endlessly and it feels better than making love, so good you lay your head down on the pillow afterwards, exhausted, panting, salty and wet, you take a deep deep breath, a sigh of relief, relaxation. So tired, satisfied and comfortable. Thats real and I can remember it so well and yet, hardly at all.
I am constantly reminded of how intelligent and independent I can be. Certain things that once freaked me out no longer phase me, I am realizing that I am a well educated woman with far more abilities than I had even a year ago. I know that I should accept help from others when it is given, or I should ask for help when faced with certain situations but I feel if I don’t need to ask for help and I am able bodied and perfectly capable of solving a problem on my own then why should I involve anyone else? The more people you tell and that know and you get involved in the things that you face on a daily basis in your personal life the more drama and talking ensues. I went through a lot this year and with the air getting cooler I am reminded that everything will become still in the winter, when cuddling up at home by the fireplace and preparing roasts in the oven becomes far more desirable than running around creating trouble by the moonlight. I am thoroughly enjoying the new peace and quiet that I have found in my life, and in my home. I know that people assume I am anti-social or depressed, or that I’m a bitch, among other things but I am finding that I’m just the opposite. I am comfortable and quiet and accepting of everyone and everything that’s going on around me and as long as I don’t try and control other peoples actions or fight against the situations that I face on a daily basis and I confront them, accept them, and solve them in the most simple way possible nothing becomes complicated, and even if it does if I remember that panic will only complicate things more, eventually things will calm down again.
Several things worth remembering this week,
I feel like there comes a point in your life when you realize you’ve just put up with too much insensitivity from the people around you. And quite frankly you’re done letting anything or anyone hurt you, your feelings, your heart, your mind, your body; all of it. You’ve been through some heavy bullshit in the last year that just about nothing can compare. So you build up some walls and you decide that maybe not forever, maybe not for the next decade but at least for awhile nobody is allowed inside them. You’ve found your left hand and your right hand man and that is good enough, and safe enough for now. The less you say to people and the less you have to do with people the less they have to talk about. But remember, they’ll talk about you anyway so you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t but if they can’t find me I think I’m better off than most.
I remember laying in his bed staring at the ceiling, regardless of the summer storm outside it was hot. He had already gotten up and showered and the steam was lingering in the room creating moisture on my skin. The phone rang as I watched the ceiling fan spin, I continued staring forward, past the paint, past the plaster, past the wood, straight through the tin roof to the overcast sky. He answered it, from the corner of my eye he nodded, as if they could see his gesture. Without words he handed it to me and kissed my forehead. I couldn’t speak all I could do was exhale, for the first time in weeks. I had been holding my breath for him, waiting for this call. The words rolled off my mothers tongue with relief. The fan started to spin backwards, I got dizzy and sighed. I felt my chest relax as I closed my eyes and dozed off.
The whole world seems to slow down when you’re waiting for someone to die, and then it stops only for a second, before it starts to move twice as fast.
Grandpa, rest in peace you magnificent man. 6.1.20-7.28.11