Here lie the bones of our beginning. No flesh pressed around them, no strained muscle or arched, aching nerve asking to be felt, to be seen. Just bones, bare. A scattering of calcified possibility, clean and cold, with no cracks through.
The only way out is through they say, but sometimes the ending happens too soon. I was only at the start of you. Just learning to read the line of your jaw and the set of your mouth. A tentative translation of your every, and your nothing.
Nothing comes from nothing, this too they say. But I have always known that potential contains its own kind of miss, its own kind of mourn. That you can still lose that which could have, should have, might.
We might have put flesh to bone. We might have strained and arched and ached toward each other. Pressed down and around the bare to warm that clean and cold. We might have cracked through to something new.
I can see what happens when he looks at you. There is a funny blue light that starts just below his ear. It curves under his jaw and then travels down his neck, out into his chest, where it shoots off in all directions. Like rivers meeting I suppose, but there’s something more electric, the way he shakes under the skin when you are here. He doesn’t like it, he thinks the heat, the buzz of that blue light is a danger sign. That the things flickering under his skin are a warning.
People don’t understand anything about themselves.
He likes you. I can see the vivid blue of his desire, the map of longing settled in his chest. It’s supposed to feel like this, I want to say. It’s supposed to shake you out of that stupor, that thing you call calm. I want to take my index finger and run it from his ear, down his neck and onto his chest. There, I’d need both hands, I’d need all my fingers, spread like arteries, or an explosion. And every place I touched – here, here, here – I’d say, there she is. There’s the way she tilts her head when she’s listening, there’s the constant glisten of her eyes when your stories move her. There is the curve of flesh under her shirt, and the way she self-consciously pulls at any falling fabric – and there is the way that little gesture only ever draws your eyes closer to what lies underneath.
He’s started to avoid you. I know you feel it, I can see the puzzlement in the way your shoulders go back when he’s colder than you remember him to be. Your shoulders are bright red, flaming, Elliott. Whether you are squaring them, or sinking them, or rolling them back and forth in attempt to dispel the energy you sense is stored there. At least you sense these things. You understand yourself a little better than he does.
Still. If you could see the light under his skin, you’d be in awe of what you don’t know.