I’m listening to you play piano and mumble to yourself about what key you’re in and does this note go here and why your creative process has to be rushed. When you told me you were here I said I would come up and do homework but now I’m just turning my computer screen away and trying to look busy. I can’t stop smiling.
God, when I’m not around you I rant and rave about how stupid I am to like you. I fret over every text, I pull my hair when you don’t respond but scold myself for jumping at the phone when you do. But when I am here, and you’re there, five feet away tapping at the keys, not even looking at me but just being there, being comfortable enough to talk to yourself in front of me, responding wittily to my agonized groans of how I just can’t write this paper, singing. I can’t stop smiling.
I’ve never said I love you and meant it, not like you’re supposed to. I say it to friends who I do love, seriously, and then it’s as easy of breathing. The words slide together and slip in and out of sentences and lace every word, God, I love my friends. But I’ve never been in love. And then, in that context, even saying the word is hard. Alone, bare, dense as dark matter. Love.
I love? I can’t. I can’t even imagine it. My hands are clenching around my phone, vice grip, fingers slow and fumbling. A text with the word or the connotation of love is a death wish. I can’t love, I don’t know what that is.
I think of people I may have loved and just not known it at the time and my stomach tightens like handcuffs around a criminal wrist, around the notion of love, and my hands fumble further and pull to a stop.
I want to vomit. My vision is getting hazy. Invisible tears yank my Adam’s apple ragged in my throat, telling. I put on makeup today to impress a nonexistent lover, to seek what can’t be sought and what I may not even want! The idea of love terrifies me in the great and terrible way the shadows on the wall terrified the cromagnon in “Allegory of the Cave”. The shadows are my world and I do not know the truth of them and cannot see beyond them, if I walk into the sun will I let my eyes adjust to the light or reject it and run back to the dark?
Being cold is all I’ve known. It’s comfortable by now.
My eyelids dip and my consciousness fades as I sink back into the black and let the nothing caress me like no man has. I am a stained glass woman in purple and blue, all light that passes through me comes out shades darker, never pure. I will shatter with one thrown stone.
It’s comfortable by now.