Sometimes when I talk to you on the phone I feel like I have a gun in my mouth which I do not have my hand or fingers directly, or even remotely, close to the trigger. My voice trembles and I clear my throat to postulate the thoughts that want to come spilling from the dark, damp cave that holds them captive.
I’d like to tell you how beautiful I still think you are.
Physically, mentally, emotionally.
I’d like to tell you how terribly I’ve missed you for the past, what…. four years?
Apologies. I’ll bite my tongue again.
No one likes it when my heart beats.
Everyone just wants to fuck and have a good time. I’m down for the good time, but I’m just not interested in the surface deep act of getting down and dirty. Wasting time to show your affection for someone else, when all you’re really doing is engaging in some self satisfying physical narcissism. Dealing more damage to yourself and others than good. Like Godzilla taking on some giant monster in the streets of Japan. It was great to you beat them back and all, giant scary lizard…. But what about our city? What happens when you’ve cum, or they have. Up and out, snagging pieces of sweat stained clothes and tossing them over their now warped and less attractive bodies as they slither from your bed, to the bathroom, and out the door.
Maybe I’ll see you again. This was fun. Call me.
Please don’t. Don’t slither up to me, make small talk, eye contact, conversation.
I’m enjoying my beer, the company of people who matter.
I’m looking for someone who matters.
I just want to spend my time in the company of people who matter. The company of people I matter to.
But I hardly have friends anymore. I left most of them behind, or let them speed off. Like lovers to the bathroom and front door. I’ve walked away from abusive relationships I could no longer help to shelter from. I’ve walked away from people who took advantage of me. I’ve learned my lessons the hard way and had a hell of a good time while I was at it.
But it doesn’t change the fact that I’m lonely.
It doesn’t change the fact that I still think of you all the time.
It doesn’t change the fact that I still feel guilty.
It doesn’t change the fact that you left without me and it wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own.
It doesn’t change the fact that I still love you.
And care. And miss you.
And, and, and.
It doesn’t change the facts.
Red brake lights like a far stretching sea. I reach out with one hand still on the wheel and fetch my cell phone. I type thoughts between periods of acceleration, enter reminders for dates and times.
Notifications for days.
This drive is going to take days, and not like the good kind of days. The days where you enter two states and leave three. The kind of days that hours can feel like, only attempting to travel from point a to point b. A hardly noticeable forty miles. Except now that forty miles feels like the length of the Mojave desert, standing atop one if it’s spiny, jagged mountains to survey it’s whole. But this isn’t a mountain, it’s an overpass; the interstate stretches South. For days.
Dear Pepita, I’ve stopped writing you love letters in my head. Mostly because this isn’t love. This is being used. So much so that I doubt I’ve ever been used before. I’ve taken back, apologized, and asked for forgiveness from the people I thought had done so before you came strolling so confidently into my life. I have nothing left to say, because if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Maybe that’s why I have been so quiet. Maybe that’s why I’m allowing you your space. Because the words that form on my tongue are venom, swallowed back down to fester in my stomach and be digested. The acids in my gut breaking down sounds and syllables, letters and feelings too strong to let loose upon the drying summer earth.
Now I understand that my dreams, prophetic as they are, are scrambled warnings. Puzzles building and unraveling in my head like poorly knit socks. Comfortable as they may be, they’re still going to fall apart.
I was standing in the rain with a gin and tonic in my hand when it hits me. It’s strange to be here without her. Continued drags of cancer while wet sloppy drops fall on my head. My last three visits to Seattle spent here were with Pepita. All three with visits to Kremwork. The first when I met her at this strange basement full of queens, queers, and transgender, gender neutral, non gender, etc people, humans, whatever. The second to see her again, six months later. Sleeping in a tent for three nights only an hour from the city. Then the last four months further on from that which felt like an eternity of waiting. Driving north with Squid to meet her at the airport, our romance in full swing, her then returning from India and our ideas and aspirations manifesting in parallel.
But now I’m here alone, the crazy spin work hurricane of my drag queen friends in full motion around me. Mentally recording conversation in what seems a totally new tongue I’ve yet to decide fully. Stepping in and out of the venue watching an ever evolving alien world breathe from a strange outside perspective.
Is this the love story I’ll be telling
Days in and nights out?
Not – we were entwined and then she left.
But – we hardly met and then we were.
Here, there, everywhere.
Is this the love story we will always talk about, quiet nights in bed. Entwined. Her dark skin soft against my pale calloused soul, self. Bone and skin stretched tight.
She says I love you; I believe her.
Because I love her as well.
She is gone and I sit in the wooden chair by the sliding glass door.
Thinking, mulling over which steps come next. Lease, Pepita, Squid, home, home.
There is no laundry to drown out my thoughts.
That hurricane named Andrew, that rattled a place I’ve only briefly been.
1986, the year I was also born. The year that hurricane and myself were brought to life.
But it faded with its damage, that wild storm.
While I sit, spin, stagger, and breath on.
Sitting in my wooden chair.
To feel like a welcome mat that sees the seasons, but never any care or cleaning.
To feel feet pressed and released as people tread over.
Whatever, whatever may come. With April showers come may flowers.
Have a nice trip. See you next fall.