I just want to say, a million times, thank you. I hope you don’t mind that I post this message. I am pleased that you can relate to me. I find it amazing that, as humans, we go through similar experiences and emotions without ever directly meeting, and I am glad you find a sort of comfort in what I write. Your support is what will keep me writing. I hope you have a lovely rest of your day!
It bothers me so much when I’m sitting right next to you and I fumble over my words, as if they’re the steps I tripped down earlier this morning while rushing out the door to be in class on time—so I could be sitting next to you on time. It hurts so much I start to choke on my silence, my hesitation, my stuttering. The words clog in my larynx like the dull sides of a potato chip stuck in my esophagus, and I continue to swallow the knives I call familiarity. You just sit there, sometimes with your head down in your sleeve, eyes closed, and I try to imagine how your own voice sounds in your head, and I wonder if love tastes just as bitter on your tongue as it does against mine; I wonder how many tears you save and how many you let go, and if you only allow them to fall when it’s raining. I wonder how you remember me, if you even do, when you’re sitting at home, fourth beer in your firm grip, cursing at Love for its detriment. Other times, you sit with your elbows on your knees, looking over at me, sometimes with a smirk or sometimes somberly, never saying anything. I wonder if you’re choking on your words, too, or if you’re wondering why I shy away from my feelings or why I smile even when the sky is gray and lifeless. Do you wonder about my secrets or are you stuck at a fork-road, one labeled, Accept Her, and the other labeled, Question Her—or are you creating a new path in between?
I took a sleeping pill, but it only worked to clear my head, so now I’m wide awake at 3:30 am, with absolutely nothing on my mind. Who’s with me???
I was slumped over the desk, falling asleep with my cheek against piles of papers marked with derivatives and indefinite integrals, when you gently tapped me and told me to wake up. Your eyes were very very green and I almost thought I was still sleeping as I smiled at you with my mouth closed, rubbed my head, and looked down at the loose leaf in front of me, spilled over and rumpled like tarnished bed sheets. This marks a second day we conversed naturally after five months of silence. I glanced around the room and felt you watching me, so soon I resorted to my work and ran my fingers through my hair every now and then as if deep in thought, but really my nerves were kicking in and I had no where else to go. It was comfortable nerves, though—not the kind you used to give me—and it’s a long shot and I’m not asking for anything, but to just please, stay like this so I can tell my daughters there is such thing as closure without anything being said.
I had my third genuine conversation with you today, and it felt natural; I liked it. I wondered why it couldn’t be that way before and why I had to lose all feeling for you before I could be comfortable in casual confrontations.
It’s so easy to get addicted to certain things like sadness, the smell of ginger, the sound of chirping crickets when everything else is silent… The color beige—especially the color beige. The worst addictions are people, the way you start memorizing the sound of their footsteps against the floor, the way they tap their thigh with their index finger when they’re bored, the way they write, the way they brush their hands through their hair, how they resemble the sun when a laugh slips out, and how quick they are to hold the door open for others. These addictions make your mind race like cars on a track, and even when you’re tired, you can’t stop or you’ll crash. You might crash anyway because these types of addictions sometimes leave on their own when their engine decides to stop. It happened similarly, just last year, when I was stuck in a snowstorm with frostbitten fingers, twisting like roots in pursuit of someplace warm but too rigid to move. He came along for a few months, acting as an apparatus. He held my hands in his and whispered my name—over and over until, eventually, my name lost any meaning it might have once had: I heard it before I fell asleep and in the middle of sentences consisting of short, to-the-point messages, and though his hands were still loose around my waist, even while embracing me, he, too, started to question the four syllabic term he kept reiterating. We were running with the check engine light on, before Love even made its way through our air vents. My name became gibberish and soon enough was unworthy to be said aloud. He stayed a little while longer, maybe because, against my criticism, he still had a heart, but no matter how small it was, my meaningless name had been imprinted where it supposedly hummed. I was a tattoo he was too young to comprehend, wanted to remove, but couldn’t, and it took me a while to rid myself of my addiction to him and the way his bare skin felt against mine. I knew he’d remember me. After all, I was his first blank stare, and I hope I was strong enough to weaken his nomadic legs and attenuate his bitter gait, so that my first teasing dose of purity would stay for his next and use words he could actually understand.
12:08am and I missed your birthday yesterday.