Construction

You say there is no meaning. And I want to lean over, kiss your moving mouth. To prove my point that even the smallest thing matters. To show you how something as simple as my lips on yours would tip the table, smash the row of glasses between us. You and I, met in the middle, would set this entire room spinning.

You think it is about what we construct. But I know it’s what we leave out that keeps a world intact (when you want to stay safe inside it). So I remain where I am. Bite my thumb. Pour another and another drink. Try to smile at you as I swallow. Knowing too, in the deepest down, just why I wanted this argument won.

alcohol bar blur candle

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

(Character building. Or revealing character flaws, perhaps)

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Down to where you are

She was 27 when she met him. Her heart was a bruise at the time, she would often find herself pushing against the flesh under her left breast, fingers searching the pain, trying to soothe, trying to make it worse or better, she was never quite sure. The man she had loved, the one she thought she would marry – when she never thought she would marry – had walked out on her three months before. Literally walked out. Dropped the key ring she had given him on the cluttered coffee table between them and walked backwards out of her life. The night before, they had talked baby names. He took her to a restaurant with fairy lights and white flowers and a 40% vegetarian menu. He took her to a place that said I know you, I know what you love, and she was wearing a new black dress, just deep enough at the chest for her new-found sophistication. For this life as a girlfriend, a woman who lived with her lover – she loved calling him lover – and they talked baby names and ate their vegetarian dinners and when he removed the black dress later that night, he was slow, thorough in the ways he replaced fabric with fingers. She came three times, biting down on her hand, the pillow, his lips, lest her housemate hear this primal, private sound.

Later, she would understand the spell that is cast by the first man to make you come. But that night she was too fresh with the discovery, these last six months of loving a man who loved her back. Not that the miracle was the latter. What was amazing to her was that she loved him. She loved someone the way she’d read about and wondered about and been quietly, alarmingly, sure that she’d never experience for herself.

You are earth and I am air. You’ll need to draw me down to where you are. You’ll need to hold me, to make sure I don’t just float away.

Something she wrote to him at the very beginning, a note never sent, because how would you say that at 26 you were as new at love as a teenager, or as skeptical of it as an old woman who’d seen to much for her own or anybody else’s liking? It was hard to remember that resistance, her earliest fears, on this night, six months after she met him, and he began the slow dance of pulling her down.

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~ MV,  What We Have Left

So many ways to tell a story 😉

 

It’s my story too

Joe. The first man I have touched who isn’t you. The thrill of it will not leave me tonight, laying here with my hands resting under my belly. I will allow myself the thoughts that have crested in, I will let them wash over me, because it is just hormones, and I’m lonely, and he looks enough like you for this to be okay.

I have not desired sex since you died. And yet I have been saturated in it all the same. Your affair, it permeates my life, it settles over my sleep, and flares throughout the day. I have re-read Maggie Valentine’s emails a hundred times these past few weeks, it is like I have my hands on one of those illicit novels we used to pass around in high school. Except this time I’m in it somehow, it’s my story too, even when I only appear in the shadows.

I am jealous of you, Ben. I am angry and jealous of your second life, this other life you lived so fully without me. Did it feel like that, the first time? Did your finger pulse when you first touched her? The way mine turned to an electric current tonight? Did you back away like I did, but continue to feel it, just the same? That inexplicable, intriguing something. The realisation that there is so much more happening under the skin than we are ever aware of. Do we all come to this awareness, eventually? Are we all just waiting our turn to betray each other? Have we betrayed ourselves first, by settling for one kind of feeling, when there are so many other worlds waiting to open up inside us?

Fuck. I don’t want to understand this. I don’t want to see how easy it could be.

How long before you pursued it, this something? Did you fight it, or did you lie in bed next to me, and roll the memory between your fingers, did you play it out across your skin the way I am now? I have my hand between my legs, it is the first time I have done this in years. The sin of it sits tight in my chest and throat, yet the heat feels like some kind of preparation. My fingers move in the slowest of circles, and I close my eyes against their pattern, and the heat. Is that what happened, Ben? Did you solidify the experience by coming against an image of her face, did this imprint on your brain so that one little spark turned into an explosion, and there you were, burning away at its centre? I can see Joe’s face now as the waves begin; I have my hand on his lip, and it isn’t you as my orgasm is wrenched out of me. I do not even bother to stifle the guttural cry that comes with the release. My body has betrayed me for the first time in my life, and I feel a kind of triumphant terror as my eyes re-adjust to the dark.

It is just the hormones. I am flush with pregnancy hormones. It is nothing else, and it is not some kind of understanding. I do not understand what you did, Ben. I do not forgive what you did. We are not the same.

~ Anna, LOVED

2017

For my last post of the summer, I flicked to a random page of my first manuscript. A little game to see what I might have forgotten. But oh, I remember writing this 😉

 

They are my stories

These are not suitcases. They are my stories. I carry them with me, yes, and at times – at 2ams and altitudes – my shoulders slump with their heft. The weight of past mistakes and all of the leaving. I spin the world backward, these times. Searching with my finger across the whirring, blurring globe for home. Are you nostalgic? she asked me once, and I said yes, as I understand it. I think writers, necessarily retrieve. I meant to say that memory matters. The past matters. But those words belong to another, so I left the thought behind.

I do – at times – have to turn myself around.

But these are not suitcases. I do not come with burdens, see. I arrive lush with autobiography. Stories spilling, swimming. I had a farm in Africa. I stood trembling at the door. There was a moment, just before. I sobbed and smiled. Here. And here. And here. I thought-. He was-. She was-. They were-. I was-. He sang in my ear. I shouldn’t have. I did. I came twice as he-. I saw the most-. I travelled to-. It made me feel. This is the … happiest I’ve ever been. Yes! I remember everything.

I remember every thing. I carry it all, swinging, dancing. Hands out, even to my sorrows. I never wanted a calm waters life. Though I waded through his once or twice. Just to see what it is to be light. And I found it heavier than I’d ever imagined, to carry no one thing at all.

Here, let me open for you now. These are not suitcases. They are my stories …

Rock2018

(Remember: Don’t believe a word I say. Just the way I say it)

♥ HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear readers! Here’s to all the stories in 2018 … ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exact equation

You know what else is funny? How the ache is so strong, you think it will never go away, that something set so deep couldn’t possibly fade. Then later comes along. At some point – later you no longer feel what you used to feel.  And when you think about what you came through, you can’t remember just when that ache went away. It didn’t feel gradual; it certainly didn’t get easier one specific day or time. Two months in, you were just as likely to be sobbing on a Friday night as you were when your heart was first split open. Still. At some point it wasn’t there anymore. At some unidentifiable moment, it all slid off you. You were no longer sad. It … he .. was gone. What was the formula? What was the exact equation of distance and time to take you where he wasn’t?

I need to know this. Because I’ve carried this bright, new sadness across the ocean with me. I’ve put the distance between us, once again. So how long before time meets that distance? When? How long before I stop feeling like there are strings playing under my skin, a mournful dirge that pulls me down?

Back when it ended, I listened to that music on repeat, it was my constant refrain.

Am I really back there now?

~ El, What We Have Left

tinkering …