She’d go to the edge of the peer by the water every day. She’d go there and just try to remember what happened. What the fuck happened and how did it get so bad.
It brought her back to late summer and everything she liked about one season falling lazily into the next and the possibility of it all. It wouldn’t get better, but it would end. And what would come wouldn’t be easy, but it would be new. And it would be cursed, but it would be hers.
It would be bleach white and she could decide what mess to make of it. She did sloppy so well, from the bun on top of her head to the shoestrings tucked into the sides of her sneakers. Everything about her was untied, but she learned early on how to blow in the wind.
She’d go to the edge by the water because maybe it’s not worth it. Maybe it’ll get better. Maybe she’s out of time. Soon the wind will shift, as it does, and she’ll be carried on the same breeze that brought her.
He likes to be alone when he’s angry. He likes to stew in it and draw this mental venn diagram of all the things he knows to be right and all the ways I’ve fucked up and all the ways that he has compromised. He wants me to “give him a minute”—like we’ve got that kind of luxury in this tiny midtown apartment— and I’m trying to find out how to walk around him without invading his space. He forces me out of his space when he feels I’ve lost the right to be there, so I give him what he needs and I grab my keys and leave.
The winter is like a slap in the face, my cheeks pink and my eyes water and I don’t have anywhere to go. I pull my coat shut and head west toward—I don’t know. Somewhere else, somewhere warm. Somewhere farther than last time, so he can nurse what I’ve broken and I can remember what it’s like to have the capability of keeping things whole. Even now, I know it’s only an hour or so that I’ve got to kill before he starts to thaw to the idea of me again. I know I can go home long before I do. My cheeks pink up and my eyes water. God, what have I done to him that he should burn himself into soot to keep me out of the cold?
I’d call you up, but I don’t care much for how this ended. And I don’t want to know where you are. I couldn’t see you when I thought I had you, and I could never hold you though you said you were mine. What’s it matter now?
I know you’re in trouble. I can feel it in my skin. How many times have I saved you? You could never let it heal before breaking it into pieces so small they’re carried away by the wind and I can’t help you.
But I won’t hurt you. And I won’t watch. And I won’t call you, cause you can’t stop. There are more prayers in the sky for you than stars and your name falls from my mouth every night.
I told you we’ve got 10 miles to empty. We should stop and get gas. We’ve got a long way to go. You said 10 miles is a long way, and I think that’s the difference between you and me.
You take it day by day. I plan a month ahead. I used to want to be more like you. You move slower and you breathe steadier. I always told you I’m afraid we’ll run out of time. You’d tell me we have plenty of time. Tomorrow’s forever from now.
It was charming at first, that you could stop and dissect the colors in the sunset. You could just be in the moment and honestly see it for what it was. You never worry, because that plants you too deeply in a future you can’t be sure of.
10 miles is a long way until it’s not. I told you to get gas. You always run out of steam because there’s no tomorrow in your world. That was the difference between you and me.
We’ve only got two weeks left. You roll your eyes, tell me not to talk like that. Talk like what? It is what it is. You say we’ll be fine. People do this all the time. I tell you we’re not people, we’re us. How will we breathe?
I’ve practically moved into your apartment because mine is pilled high with boxes. It was your idea, said I’m here all the time anyway. It’s like you don’t remember that I had to fight you just to get a damn drawer. But I’m pressing closer to you like you can leave some type of imprint on me. We’re smashed together like we’ll fuse and we’ll never have to be apart.
I told you it wasn’t a good idea. You told me don’t be stupid. How can this be smart when it feels this way. How can this be good when I’m regretting it already.
We’ve got two weeks and it’ll pass and I’ll be far from here. I’ll start that job because you told me to, when all I wanted was for you to ask me to stay. You said it’s good, it’s what I’ve worked for and I’ve earned it and we’ll be fine. And you smile light and kiss me deep, because you don’t believe it either.