I know you don’t watch me walk away (remember)

I know you don’t watch me walk away. I know you don’t press your forehead against the double glass to keep me in your sight. There is no straining for that one last look, no time suspended in the final unblinking stare. You don’t stay with me until I am just another city glow fading in to night.

Tonight I have said I don’t want to do this anymore. I have said it in the way a liar can tell a single truth, sudden and surprising. You are asleep, or nearly asleep when I whisper it across the back of your head.

I don’t want to do this anymore. This – laying in your arms in yet another bed of tangled sheets. This staccato relationship, our little parody, where the only authentic act is how you fall asleep straight after we fuck. And I know what comes next. I can feel the separation as keenly as if you have already peeled your body from mine, already slid back in to that second skin, the crisp white shirt and pressed pants, so deftly shucked hours before. I feel you walking out the door even as your breath warms my breast and your hand remains heavy between my legs. And I decide that tonight I will be the one to go.

I have held on to you so long that my hands still clench around you. My fingertips try to press in to you one last time, to roll across your skin in a final and heroic effort to prove my identity. But you barely stir, as one finger then the next has to release its grip.

I move to the edge of the bed and I tell you I am leaving. I say other things too, they tumble from a wine-thick tongue, but in time to come I will only ever remember this. How I say I am leaving and you mumble I’ll see you soon, and how with your eyes still closed you miss the way I shake my head, no.

I know you don’t get up after I close the door behind me. I know you don’t move to the window to watch me tremble into the night. You are not looking down to see me stumble through cracks of concrete in the heels you removed so carefully over dinner, and you don’t watch as I recede to a grey as cobbled as the street below. With no neon flash of text to say goodnight, no vibrating phone to accompany me home, I know you are already sound asleep.

It is my 35th birthday and I will not cry. One wobbly foot in front of the other on this midnight street, I walk away.

Rock Bublitz by Joanne Piechota

Image by Joanne Piechota @ Little Clicks

Eidyia’s Note: Reposting this today because I need to remember.

A certain calm

There are times when I experience a certain calm. As if diving into the ocean, shock gives over to a yielding. A soft sensation of surrender that I will remember and forget a thousand times – and again. An understanding that never arrives announced.

I used to love opening my eyes under water. Searching through the deep. Away from the sureness of the world, and into the endlessness awaiting. I never looked back to the shallows where feet churned sand and bodies broke the surface. I would hold my breath and swim right out to the edge of my beginning – I could only ever get this far, before the tug of fear pulled me back, but I would swim a little further each and every time. Even as a child I did not want the safety of the shore.

This kind of calm, it is a return to that feeling. A remembering of how to swim out and away, to fix my eyes on a limitless unknown, so beautiful for its mystery. You are behind me, I sense the turbid waters you create when you thrash against the waves and I know you are sinking with the ship, struggling in your safety. You will not take that breath and dive under. The truth is you are drowning because you are afraid of the deep – even when I hold out my hand.

We are not the same. We were never going to be the same. I was always going to love you better. Your best offering – your wedding dance, your earnest vows, your dedication – that is how I do it every day. Brave and demanding, and difficult – and always, always searching.

I would have loved you in this way forever – it is easy enough when you do not fear it. That is my love, and that is not how you do it. It is my swimming into the depths whilst you break against the shore.

(I am not the same as you. This certain calm reminds me).

Calm body, remember by Rock Bublitz

“Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”

– Leonard Cohen