It’s Been a Year

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 It’s been a year.

There wasn’t much of you left to bury, so I just carried around your bits’ and pieces until they fell out of my pockets’ over the journey of everything to come after. And it hasn’t been very long, but I’ve traveled further than I thought I’d ever want to go.

That smell on the side of the mountain that filled our windows on the drive home– they’re wild onions.  I found them while hiking with another girl.  I picked some and tried to cook them but they tasted terrible.  Then I googled them and turns out they might be poisonous.   I think you would’ve applauded the effort.

They put a restaurant on the wharf where you wanted to build your plaza.  Someone else’s dream went into that space; but I suppose we’re all impermanent in that way.  When I think about buildings or beaches and the number of people to have enjoyed them I begin to feel very small.

I don’t miss you.

But there are still moments that hurt’ unexpectedly sometimes.  Like that play with the actors speaking in English-Chinese that was such a disaster, and how we couldn’t stop laughing afterwards.  A friend of mine saw the same play too… and it came up in conversation and it made me think of you.  Only for a flickering moment, but it was enough to dim the lights on an otherwise sparkling night.  I hope you never think of me.

You always had this long line of monkey-bar-boys, a safe ‘next rung’ to be clung to when we fell loose, but me… lately I’ve been feeling like I was in free fall when you let go– and I’ve finally hit the bottom.  With every girl I kissed and every moment of loneliness somehow knocking down the deep well of You’ that obstructed my view of the future.  I have loose stones and cracked slate of all the big dreams I thought we were building, but as of late’ I’m seeing that the shuffle of rubble is the best foundation for something concrete.  Just add an outpouring of opportunity and someone new to fill in all the gaps.

If you could see me now, I think you’d be impressed.

…You, in that Orange Dress.

Bump it with:

The Orange Dress: Rules of Engagement

The Geneva Convention outlines certain rules for warfare.  The most well known rules protect women, children civilians, and non-combatants.  Medics and religious persons, such as priests or pastors  regardless of which army they are serving, are also protected.  Prisoners of war are to be fed and treated respectfully, and returned to their respective countries once the conflicts are over.

“Dum-dum” or expanding hollow point rounds are banned, because the damage they inflict on human flesh is too difficult for medics and surgeons to treat.  Imagine a corn kernel super-heating and bursting inside of a steak at three-thousand feet per second, and instead of soft fluffy popcorn it’s hot molten lead bouncing around, ricocheting and turning every piece of flesh into shredded dog meat.

Really think about that for a moment: there exists a bullet too lethal for war, and people on both sides of the war have agreed not to use it.  If people can honor rules of war, why not rules of love?

We had rules for our relationship.  Rules in place for when the fighting got ugly and muddy in the trenches.    Rules for when emotion overtook logic, or planning, or history, or love.  They were simple rules:

– Don’t sleep with other people.
– Don’t say it’s over, unless it’s truly over.
– Don’t ignore phone calls.
– Don’t block social media.
– Respond, answer and acknowledge.

and there was one rule specifically for me:

– Don’t write about us.

She never wanted to air our dirty laundry.  But there is no “our” dirty laundry anymore.  There is just my dirty laundry, and her dirty laundry, and both are being washed quite separately now in different washing machines.  Mine still carries the wounded stink upon it of dried blood and unanswered questions.  And it’s with that constant musky shameful smell in my nose I realize I am holding on to a bygone time, and a set of rules that only one of us are abiding by.  The only way to get clean at this point, are harsh chemicals or sunshine.

…and I choose the sunshine.

My Last Regret

Had I known that was our last night together, I would’ve held my tongue and just held you.  I would’ve kissed your eyelids and brushed your little bangs from your face.  I would’ve listened to every thing you said, knowing I may never hear your voice again.  I would’ve carried you home in whatever angry state, and I would have put you to bed and watched you sleep.

 In the fading glory of our last morning I would’ve told you how you meant everything to me.  How your brilliance, colors my days, how your smile feeds my soul.  How, when our fingers intertwined it was the only time I ever felt truly whole.  I would’ve told you about our children, that I someday hoped we’d have.  And with their little hands and little faces they’d come running to their Momn’Dad.  I would tell you about the big house, with the big dogs, and the big love.   But you already knew our plans. 

In two and a half minutes, I lost two and a half years and everything that lay ahead. I lost my partner, I lost my best friend.  And I am sorry, to have hurt you.  I am sorry to have broken something most precious to your heart.  In that moment, I myself felt broken, and frustrated and lost.  But never as much as I feel now.  

And in your mind I may be hazy and slightly askew.  Please remember:

I am a boy swimming in the bay, with one inner tube and one snorkel to share
I am a boy, on the long plane ride home, with his girl sleeping on his shoulder
I am a boy eating sandwiches on the beach and drinking champagne
I am a boy cooking breakfast for his sleeping love
I am a boy, learning ukelele with his girl along the ocean bluffs 
I am a boy, your confidant, your analyst, your business builder
I am a boy, talking in a high pitched Chinese voice, “Yooouuu knoooowww theeee ooonnneee”

But most of all, 

I am a boy sitting on the side of the road eating malasadas, waiting for his ride to take him home.

Bump it with:

The Guillotine

I imagine this is what the guillotine must feel like.  A sudden *whoosh* and then spine, nerves, tendons, blood vessels, and veins, all disconnected in a single blow.  What once was a vital and integral part of a living breathing creature has been cleaved in two.  But unlike a normal person put to death, both the severed Head and Body decapitated  are expected to live on in their current state.  There is no amicable division of property; no joint custody of organs or blood or nutrients.  So Body, if you we’re expecting to have a pleasant thought today, you’re shit out of luck.  Head, if you were expecting to go for a run, same deal… you lost the legs in the split.  Heh.  That’s funny, I think.  

People give the usual platitudes, how a numerous amount of cold blooded, glassy eyed, creatures in the deep blue ocean somewhere is supposed to somehow give me solace.   Because it’s hard to think about fish, when I don’t have a Head.  It’s hard to think about fish when I don’t know if my Head is resting in someone else’s bed.  

It’s hard to think.  

It’s hard.  

Not to.  

Think.

And then I begin to realize, I am not the Body at all.  If I were the Body I could pursue blindly the carnal pleasure of the company of other somebodies.  I could engorge myself on food, I could drown myself in the nectar of drink.  I could  find happiness in activity.  I could go outside and sit in the sunshine, I could splash in the water, I could feel the cold sting of the rain– I could feel anything.  

No, instead I am the Head.   Eyes open, on the pillow, counting every blink and every tick of the clock.  Full of twisting thoughts like a turgid river, constantly shifting and changing in directions.  Closing and opening doors and shutters in my mind, only to find the sharp pain of memories, collected and categorized for some future plans with the Body that simply will not happen.  I am the Head, waking up from fitful sleep in cold sweat clinging to the swiftly tearing edges of a dream where I was running.  Running!  Where there was no jagged scar that went from ear to ear across my throat, no heavy blade that cut me through and through, and I was running, something I had done millions of times but upon waking, I realize– is impossible.

 I am the Head, yet somehow I am full of heartache, though I thought I lost the Heart when the Guillotine hit me, but somehow it too haunts me.  

 So, I think on.  

 

Couuntin’ the Days

Is it weird that I’m counting down the days, not on finger tips or the little hand clock ticks, but on the absence of space in one sided conversations that begin with: “Hey I gotta tell you about…” but you’re not around.  And so I keep them to myself.  And I put them on my shelf organized and categorized in jars and binders labeled “For Min, don’t forget”.  

I never thought to hold my breath’ while the air was running out.  Because I’m not scared of drowning, or going without.  I know that next breath in’ will taste all the sweeter when my lips meet the surface of your water and the air is mine again.  I will breathe you in.  And I will exhale stories by the gallon, and footfalls by the mile, and our paths will twist closed like our interwoven fingers, which have become inseparable knots.  And I will watch’ for the smile that begins at the corners of your eyes and ends with your head upon my chest.  

And I will breathe easy.  And I will count freely.  In the measured beats of our two hearts as one.  

It goes
One to, 
    One two.  
        One too.  
              Me you.  
                    Me you.  
                                                Kimchi.  
   Pork belly.  

                  Ice cream.  

Bump it with:

A Ruined Moment

The little boy leaned over the table his shoulders dancing with anticipation as he drank in the air in front of him, his cheeks all aglow, ready to blow out his birthday candles.  “You’re doing it wrong” the little girl next to him scolded, “you should breathe with your gut and not your cheeks” the little boy held his breath “and when you breathe” she she poked him menacingly with her index finger”be careful not to spit on the cake, you always spit” she paused “and the smoke, nobody likes smoke in their eyes, so breathe it that way”  “And you’re leaning too far in; it’s not safe.  You should be further back.” she prodded him backwards from the cake and frowned, “And the plates don’t really match now, do they?”

And by the time she was done. the candles had burned down and the magic of the moment was gone. 

The Collector walks home

I save snatches of conversations in mason jars until they’ve filled my arms.  I write my best thoughts onto parchment and roll them into my mind’s satchel and feel it bounce against my hip with each step.  I save my highlights reel painstakingly on micro-film to be played back from the comfort of your lap.  And the stories of my day are woven into tapestries that I carry on my back me like a cloak billowing behind, lengthening with the day’s shadows.  Until finally.  Finally.  I see you.  And when i see you, all the trinkets and souvenirs I’ve accumulated through my day– are yours.

Because your laughter, is like summer wind chimes in a brisk breeze.  It floats through me, and carries me with you.  My stories are brought to life not by my words but by the furrow of your brow or the concerned turn on the corner of your lips, or your hands on your hips, and your smile and moist kiss at the end.  And my life is made complete by sharing the time spent without you– with you.  I hope you feel the same way too.

The Long Drive

You walk in beauty and in grace.  You give me the best sleep I’ve had in twenty-three days.  And I know I’m undeserving of this mercy.  Stepping careful’ not to get tangled in what has been or what could be.  With the foam of the ocean, and the chill of the night breeze, you curl up next to me.  With our limbs intertwined, you give me the best sleep.  Your dashboard’ with the tiny flashing lights; I’m careful not to count the miles.  How is it possible to feel hope and regret at the exact same time?  How could I forget how soft your face feels against mine?  This is a perfect moment, that’s slipping from us swiftly.   Come morning, when the rocks and fissures are revealed, who will we be?  This is a perfect moment.

Bump it with:

Laments of a Prisoner

He asked, ‘can you keep the door open just a crack, so when my monsters consume me I know I can get back, so when I’m at my worst so long as I see that tiny wedge of light– I’ll know there’s hope.’  But She bolted the doors, put planks on the windows, and snuffed out every candle.  She called the guards, who chained him up and shot his horse.  Come morning when he limped back to her door, she fled when she saw him,  threatening him with the garrison again.

He found himself in stocks, without any escape.  He waited desperately for her, but she never came.  So he lived off of the passing scraps of strangers and well wishers, eating where he could.  Waiting.  Surviving.  At last she returned with scorn in her eye.  Condemning the prisoner, for eating to get by.  “You should’ve waited”, she said.  I might’ve been baking bread in the house I boarded up, in the oven you couldn’t see, in the place I plucked from your reach.  You should’ve waited.  

The Orange Dress: A Moment of Clarity

In a moment of clarity, I know these will be few and far between.  I know the struggle that lays in front of me, the jealousy the monsters, the doubt the rage.  And I know what will become of me if I don’t beat this.  I’ve tasted the drowning waters, the wretched sea of loneliness and a life barren and without you.

So in my moment of clarity– I release you.  I release you from the promise of the big house, with a big yard, with big dogs.  I release you from the dream of reading to our children together.  I release you from the memory of thousands of home cooked meals, conversations over wine, and movies together curled up on your bed.  I release you from your father walking you down the aisle to a sea of smiling faces, and me standing there waiting for you at the end, which would have truly just been the beginning of everything for us.  I release you from the promise of a life together, of growing old together and ultimately dying together.  I release you from everything we spoke of, everything we dreamed of and everything I ever hoped us to be.  I release you from every time you told me you loved me, and that I was “the one”, and how those words carried me forward for so long.

This was our dream.  Now it is just my dream.  And it is time to fold it up and put it away for someone else to one day have.  I release you from all of this.  Goodbye love.