The worst part is when I lie in bed at night, and I have to stop myself from thinking about a (our) future. I catch myself, then cross my wrists over my chest, like a corpse, to protect my heart.
There's a void at the center of my being. I don't mean my heart. I mean a pillar, as if God drilled out the core of me, Some glorified test tube surrounded by flesh. It's not comfortable, But I admit it's a good place to store baggage.
I take this dilapidated notebook everywhere, even the bathtub. I like to let the hot water open my pores, my mind, my heart. Between the furious scribbling I set it on my chest, waiting for the next verse. The weight of my words presses me deep into the basin, the gravity of 10,000 nights, and I'm thankful the water is shallow, so I don't succumb to the burden.
Time crawls during an episode, the days and nights extending before you; a vanishing horizon. You begin to take notice of little things; the exact rhythm of your heart, the way a water droplet holds light. But mostly I sit in the stillness of apathy, stagnate as everything around me grows and changes while I molder. It's happened enough times for me to know that it's all a matter of time before it passes. So I sit, and smoke, and drink black coffee and wait until the light returns.
Buried beneath the raw flesh of every scar there lies a story, a veiled truth manifested in the physical form. If you listen close enough they will whisper, confessing our sins, our triumphs, our follies and, even, our secrets.
We'll chance upon each other, some day or evening a long time from now. By then my heart will have scabbed over, but still the edges are tender. You'll be excited - "it's been so long!" - but I'll be full of dread, caution. I'll regard you coolly, just enough detachment to make you unsure, ill at ease. I'll make some cutting remark, veiled in subtlety, then excuse myself from your company. You'll mull the comment over, repeating it in your mind, puzzling together its meaning. And slowly, you'll reach the soul of it and know that I'm still bleeding. You'll watch me from across the room, and I'll know by its focused heat, But I'm too old and too tired to play the games of young girls. You won't see me feigning laughter or pretending to flirt with some random person. I'll simply be me, as even keeled and placid as you knew I was. It will remind you of those quiet moments we shared, tangled in each other, Doing nothing but marveling at the miracle of love, the wonder of eachother's breathing. You'll then be in touch, and I'll hesitate but answer; no sense of preservation. You'll apologize for it all and I'll give you a halfhearted, watery kinda smile. (Actions, of course, speak louder than words and I'm simply mirroring your past indifference.) You'll realize too late, like they all do, that you made a huge mistake. But it'll make no difference to me because you had broken something inside me That day, way back, when I stared out of the window, watching a squirrel as You stood above me and recited a litany of why you didn't want me. And maybe then you'll long for me the way I did those many months, The wind blowing through the hollow in your chest, whistling past the ragged edges. And then you'll understand, it dissolved that warm October as I sat in silence. You'll know it's too late for me, for you, for us. It's just now that you're catching up.
"Look at me," he murmured. So I did, choosing his left eye over the right. Like I knew it would, the pupil dilated, blossoming under my steady gaze. There's never an option, I'm taken hostage by eyes and that's why I never look, see? Now I saw him, stripped bare before me, the scars raw on his flesh. Yet, he never blinked, never broke contact as I penetrated and saw it all. I admired his courage - I could never be that vulnerable - but also his stupidity. After all, he didn't know what kind of woman I might be or what I could do with his scars. Then again... maybe he just wanted to be seen.
Rumi was really onto something - writing poems about God, who for all we know could be a figment of our imagination, or a madness of spirit. The point is: when you love something intangible and invisible, it has no chance of ever breaking your heart.
You were frail in body while I was delicate in mind, yet we curled around and underneath each other trying to provide comfort to one another - because that's what empaths do. You held me as I fell to pieces in your hands, mind ridden and soul overflowing with trauma, pain and anxiety. You held on until I stopped crumbling - not healed, but stable, enough. Then I held you, in your emaciated brittleness, all edges and angles, as you allowed yourself the space to dissolve in my hands, slipping through my fingers - like water down a drain. Somehow we held each other up, held each other together, just barely. Maybe that's what two people do for one another; the simple kindness of - offering safety, compassion, and companionship as we try to weather our way through the shitstorm.
Bukowski once said,
love was like the early
What he didn’t say was,
that the fog would
slither into your