All the things she did

Wrong place, wrong time. Don’t go there. Don’t do that. Skirt’s too short, street’s too dark. How many lovers have you had? Fresh meat. Store’s open. Men will be- Why couldn’t you- Keep your legs- What did you- In my day ladies were didn’t wouldn’t couldn’t.

Stack up the bodies. Stack up the limbs and hearts and dreams and thoughts and things she’ll never do. Because of all the things she didn’t do.

Or all the things she did. And everything she her we are.

~ Alice, What We Have Left

AliceNYC

You don’t let go

You don’t.

The accumulation, the little gatherings. You open your arms wider to them. You hold one more, and close.

You don’t.

Fingers and slipping. Everything that falls through – you never knew how. Always scooping up the love at your feet. Until it is back again, and overflowing.

You don’t let go.

You let.

You let everything stay.

Everything stays.

You remember she said there is always room – it just expands. And you are a chasm now. Wide, wide open, and reaching.

You remember.

She said.

You don’t let go.

(This heart. It holds every thing)

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And here I am again. Forgetting. Or remembering – differently. Something softer, something sweeter always pushing through … 

What you had

Would you do it all again? If. If you had the chance to go back with what you now know, with what you’ve gained from all of that losing. Would you use what you have to change what you had?

Would you start with the girl drinking tequila from the bottle, the way she thinks his absence is something she’s done, the way she tries to undo it when he walks in the door.

Would you say it’s not cake if it’s just crumbs and stop her from taking that bite?

Or would you whisper in her ear that it’s just life after-all and say Go! Tell her to live her life and then write it? Because it’s all there on that very first night, the little addictions, the tiny cravings. The way she finds a relief in transgression. She is barely out of her teens but she already knows.

That most of what she meets will ask her to break it.

Would you do it all again? If. If it were to turn out exactly the same. Would you tell her to say Yes! to the men who invite her in then lock her out? Would you let her become nothing but impulse and twitch under the skin, let her lose her layers one by one in their arms?

Or would you tell her love this one a little more – and love that one so much less. Would you tell her that it doesn’t get easier than this. That her eyes are on stars while they all look down. And they’ll only ever want what she sees.

Would you do it all again? If. If it led to this?

Rock Bublitz by Joanne Piechota at body, remember blog
Image by Joanne Piechota

Found this piece I wrote more than three years ago. Still not sure what ‘it’ led to, ha. Not easy to live without regret – perhaps that’s not even the point in the end. Might be more about living *with* regret and accepting it’s the mistakes that make you …

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

 

 

Sorry?

Sorry? Am I really here again? Standing on a dark street, lip bit, trying not to cry? Am I really here, in heels too high for the slippery streets and the shaking?

Why’s it always raining when my heart gets broken? (there’s no denying – half a year got me half way there.)

And now you’ve gone and left me here?

Hell no! You knew. You know. 

And I thought with that we might take care. I thought perhaps you cared. Enough to be a better man when it comes to invitation.

See, I know where you’re wounded too (dark spirits will pull that from a conversation). I kept my touch gentlest there. And when I turned out my palms  … I understood your right to refuse them.

But it’s been a long time since someone left me so small. Off to take their better call. Leaving me an unspoken message. Alone to hear, loud and clear.

Sorry?

Sorry for taking so long to accept.

Except.

I thought you were a different kind. And that – you motherfucker – was a ‘big deal’ to me.

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Rejection might be mandatory – humiliation, never.

 

What I have taken

I don’t know when the idea first occurred to me. To come here. I suppose it could be the stories my mom used to tell me. They must have been lingering around, in that way certain memories might seem forgotten, but really, they’re right there waiting, and some day something or someone happens to push that memory front and center, as if you have been remembering it all along.

Maybe that’s what this was at first. A kind of pull toward my mother, to the city she always dreamt of. Or it could be that I haven’t been able to shake off Mr. Jackson yet, that the pull is toward him, toward the version of him who lived here first, and I want to go back to that time before me, and find him. Or maybe – the exact opposite. Maybe I want to be equal to him, to best him, after what he did to me. I want to do what he did, and prove that I can survive on my own. Now that he has cast me out.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just looking for a horizon. Maybe I’m just looking for something to look at. After all of that looking at me.

I reach inside my bag, swing it to the front of my hip for safety. It’s still there, his Leica M6. I run my fingers over the raised metal and the smooth round of the lens. I don’t know why I need this proof. I’ve been feeling the weight of it this whole journey, the heavy bump and knock against my thigh. It is not as if the camera could have suddenly disappeared from inside my bag, but I need to feel that it’s there just the same. This is what I have. This is what I have brought with me, and it is a small triumph to know that he will soon realise what I have taken from him. If he does not miss me he will at least miss the way he used to look at me.

Everyone’s lost something, Alice.

Isn’t that what he told me just the other day.

~ Alice,  What We Have Left

AliceNYC

All this time (5)

8.17 PM

It’s not as if she hadn’t considered this. If she’s honest with herself, and there really isn’t any point in lying now, not with his chest pressed against her back, and his hand resting against her hipbone. She’s staring at the wall, staring at the particular hotelness of this room. The textured wallpaper, the brass and amber light fittings. The heavy drapes and the mirror large enough to watch – what? All that they have just done? How many lovers has that mirror reflected? How many twisted limbs, how many mouths searching, fingers grasping?

His fingers are now playing at her hipbone like she is a piano, she remembers – had forgotten – this habit of his. The way his hands are never still, not when they are touching her.

A rooftop bar. A hotel bed. She could blame the fifth drink, or the way they moved downstairs to drink it, to the booth where their legs touched under the table, and how neither moved away from the heat. She could blame the stories that went deeper. I missed you when-. I wanted to tell you that-. Maybe it was the dress she wore, or their unfinished business, or the stars and the gods interfering.

What it definitely is, Elliott thinks, fingers tapping at bone, is crazy. Three years no contact, and then only hours to bring them back to this.

She is happy for the first time in three years. Terrified too, because she knows what he hasn’t said, and so now she turns to face him.

Ash? Heart in throat, removing his hand from her hip. Lacing fingers together.

Perhaps she heard the stories wrong.

Did you set a date yet?

A pause, too small for the question.

Yeah. August 15th. The earliest we could get the church we wanted.

He doesn’t look at her as she pulls her hand away. Does not see her counting down, or the decision she makes. August 15th. Calendars and clocks. Anything could happen by then.

~ Elliott,  What We Have Left

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All this time – the end is now the beginning … have finally figured out a way to use this in my new story. Her story …

This is where we left them: https://bodyremember.com/2015/06/01/all-this-time-4/