I don’t know what you did. I can’t put my finger on it. Not really. I’m not sure. That’s where we are so different. I question. I waffle. I can’t commit. You just know. Knew? It was what it was. Play. A formulaic story we’ve all heard but twisted on itself to mock what it was supposed to be but isn’t. It is “isn’t,” right? It wasn’t.
I don’t know. I don’t have the words. I couldn’t find them if I searched deep inside myself because–I don’t know–maybe I’m just another half-human masquerading as a heroine in a tale I’ve spun in my own mind from a jumble of letters thrown on the floor after having been cut unevenly from newspaper headlines, torn haphazardly from magazines telling stories I would so love to tell but I don’t have tales worth telling so I tell myself a half lie–not for my entertainment. Because maybe because it is pathological. I’m pathological.
Maybe I’m whistling for wolves that will never come because the most depraved parts of me crave the shrill, breathy, unsatisfying sound my lips make when I try to produce a tune–maybe I like that unnerving, malaise of a melody over silence because I have nothing of substance in my mind to keep myself occupied in its absence.
I don’t know–I just know it makes my shoulders reach, almost imperceptibly and only for a moment, to my ears when it comes up. When we joke about it. Maybe my shoulders are trying to close the daunting space around my ears that haunts me. The space around my body that seems to teem with a slight, itchy kind of static that isn’t quite there–not there enough for it to actually exist but just possibly there in concept if I subconsciously unravel the overused ball of yarn used to weave the same old stories. Like Alice in Wonderland. It’s too normal. It’s too much of a Tuesday to be anything more than any old Tuesday. But maybe Tuesdays are twisted more than we want them to be–or maybe they are just twisted in our heads because we are so bored we have become twisted ourselves and warp our external world as an imitation of the reductive, baseless souls we occupy in our internal worlds.
It’s crude that I would wonder. It’s indecent. It’s disloyal. It’s a brutish gesture of thanks in which I murder one of the people to whom I owe my ability to withstand some of the toughest moments I have seen. The person who righted the ship I lazily let slip off course, who navigated for me when I couldn’t tell up from down, north from south. What was or was not.
It’s crime. A stab in the small intestine. Unforgettable but without warrant. Your kind, concerned eyes were lighthouses that drew me from my worst nightmares when you held your hands to my cheeks, my chin nestled in the roots of your palms. The same palms which pulled my head up so you could see if the moment of panic I was having was memory or mirage, whether I was under the hood of terrifying moments that stole me away from my childhood or merely affected by where I’d once been but knew I could not possibly be as an adult, in my own apartment, where I paid the bills and knew where I would sleep from month to month for the whole, impossibly infinite duration of our lease.
It’s an assassination of character, but silent because I am so much a coward I dare not say it, even in my mind and only to myself–while also being the loudest, most cowardly, self-serving, ostentatious outburst I could ever have sitting at the precipice of my lips, guarded by the remnants of a conscience and any decency I might repay you for what you’ve done for me. To me?
Time and time again, you held my face in your hands with fear wrought across yours–and your gentleness was the only thing that grounded me, reminded me that my worst childhood experiences are not the reality of actual men. You stopped me and made me unafraid even when a part of me–some part sitting in the dark, damp, moldy corner of my inner lack of character–had the audacity to wonder–had an innate, insatiable, and invalid thirst for septic blood so sickening that I can’t issue a verdict and move past it, allowing you the exoneration you must deserve. Right? What else? Maybe it’s a baselessness of which I can never wring my feminine hands so soft by nature that you forget they can hold self-serving daggers for moments of boredom.
I sit there with a question on my serpent tongue and all you can do is look at me like you believe I’m beautiful and say with wonder and love, “what big eyes you have.”