He doesn’t think it possible for his entire world to break and remake itself within the span of an hour, but after a few heated confessions, here he stands — not new, but feeling very much like it.
Love is a peculiar thing.
He can hardly handle the enormity packed into the word. It’s overwhelming, like a flood of sunshine after a long night; yet it’s small as well, as if the stars have all been fitted into one person to shower them in brilliance.
She whispers his name, and it fills the room from floor to ceiling, drowning him in softness. The dense, unfathomable emptiness that once enveloped him is suddenly pierced by the sound of falling rocks. Loud drums echo in his ears—‘His heart,’ he realizes a second too late.
Beating blood, working muscle, always running off like a flock of startled birds.
I’m outside, swaddled in a coat worn thin with a hand around my lighter to block out the wind. Smoke escapes me, floating above like the tendrils of another’s breath. It’s freezing. The cold night is stinging my skin. There’s a pile of fallen leaves that extends two blocks down; the leaf painters are such an enthusiastic bunch, but I feel like sometimes they forget that leaves are fragile things. They color them in reds and oranges, rarely getting a proper balance, so they fall to the ground instead—soggy, sad, and gone too soon. I’d wish for them to get better, but I’m pretty sure that only faeries grant wishes and I haven’t found one of those yet. Besides, I don’t think I’d like to waste a wish on them if I did have one (maybe that’s why the faeries hide from me?)
Anyway, it’s late. I’m tired. The day hasn’t been kind, so I come out here to breathe. Breathe and forget. There’s no need to hold my head up high in a place like this. There’s nothing nice to see anyway. The city looks like its choking. Sometimes the people do, too. They dig for dreams in concrete graves lined with furniture. But I think the world is still in the lead (for now) because whenever dawn comes around the birds continue to sing their tunes. They sound happy, and I’ll take their sounds at face value only because I don’t want to dwell on the alternative.
I don’t quite know where I’m going with this. But I do know that I can’t wait until morning arrives. I can already imagine the cold kitchen, the warm coffee, and my boredom, despite the early hour.
I’m not thinking straight right now. I don’t like my mind. It keeps wandering to places I’m not comfortable with.
I want out.
I’ll probably leave here soon—everyone else has—but I’ve still got half a carton. And you always told me that I need to leave with whoever I brought with me. But I came here with someone I can’t reach anymore. He’s six feet too far.
What should I do?
I can so easily recall days when we’d run off to steal a few moments to ourselves. When we forgot about the world together. But my emotions have always been intense things. Some more than most can handle. I never thought they’d be too much. In hindsight, I probably should’ve known. I got careless.
My fault. Not yours.
No more alcohol to drown my sorrows. No more food to escape the bitter taste of regret that settles like bile on my tongue. Perhaps… that’s for the best. Because there’s no peace to be found at the bottom of a bottle, and I’ve drowned my senses too long already.
My mind has clouded over, and I’ve forgotten that there’s always solace to be found in wreckage, kindness during ages of uncertainty, and most of all, love, when we feel none at all.
So, it’s enough now.
You keep speaking of the past, as if you were any different then.
Despair doesn’t kill. It just makes life a little more unbearable.
I care for you more delicately than I do my pen. I consider your voice over the hundreds vying in my mind. I reached out to you with hope I believed long dead… but no more. Because this has become a game now, and I’m so tired of twisted things. I forfeit.
The wind is cold. There’s no sun.
Outside, the air’s heavy and stale.
Even clouds get tired of crying some days.
Like the reflection I see on my tar cellphone screen.
An echo of myself, swaddled on this rumpled bed.
Tendrils of smoke drifting round.
Eyes groggy, limbs protesting.
Thoughts muffled by ocean waves.
Drowned out by numbness.
Long and lasting.
How can you just forgive everything I’ve done?
When here I am, feeling like I profane the very ground I walk upon.
Is it really that easy to fall asleep?
Because I’ve been sitting here,
angry and waiting to remember how to adore my own seams.