the incurable loneliness when not alone our human ailment
“If I were a fish,” she said, “I think I’d still have feelings.”
“Why the fuck would you even want to be a fish?” He laughed, taking quick bites of his burger.
“Why not? Spending the day swimming around, it’d be like permanent scuba diving.” She pushed her plate aside and sat back, sipping from the iced tea in her hand. The day was bright, with a slight breeze keeping them cool as they sat out in the patio of the restaurant.
“You’d be a fucking fish. Why not a shark, or a whale? You’d just get eaten. Who cares if you have feelings.”
He rolled his eyes and picked up his phone, his focus on the screen between bites. She watched him quietly for a few moments until she finally shrugged.
“Yeah, I guess so. You’re not a seashell, anyway.”
With a sideways kiss and everything’s different. I can’t tell if that’s somehow left me still sideways. Maybe upside down. We stood in silence at the setting sun even though there seemed to be no reds or oranges despite, only pinks and blues. The sounds of nature fluttered like wet eyelashes, blinking. I may have swallowed a bug. But mostly he feels perfect against me, even if it’s just a casual brushing of legs, arms, hands, hearts.
I couldn’t sleep for what felt like forever, resting my head against him for a time, sometimes just my fingers slightly touching— just barely. I imagined all the things I could say but I left them to silence except his breath heavy in sleep. Kissed his cheek and held it there, my lips frozen against skin.
“Let’s have breakfast,” I wanted to say. It repeated in my head for what felt an eternity that morning of in and out that it never found it’s escape from my thoughts. Instead I drove away and the thoughts still stayed so muddled I couldn’t even sing along to a song.
I still feel that fluttering, blinking, trying to quell it to something resembling normalcy. I’m not what I once was, still the same. Maybe.
talk to me
answer the questions
that I’ve asked
call to me
take me into
your loving grasp
cry with me
help me take
the pain away
sing to me
tell me everything
will be okay
I wrote this 20 years ago when I was 20 years old.
It’s as if I’m standing on the top of a high mountain, looking down at the gorgeous view that stretches out in all directions around me, inhaling the chill air, and I’ve suddenly realized I’m terrified of heights.
Sometimes I leave pages in notebooks blank. One, two, three or eight. I think they must need to be that way. To not have words written on them. As if it were somehow just the way it should be.
And then, sometimes, in need of scratch paper to write down the date and time of a hair appointment, or to scribble a phone number, or maybe a grocery shopping list; I find these pages, tear them out.
I wonder, though, what happens to those empty spaces in the notebook that were meant to be there. Those pauses, those separations. I wonder if the words that were once apart by a single blank page then meet. If they say hello.
His tongue moved over his lips and I wondered if he could taste it– the sweetness.
As if his words were fading in and out, the world moved in jagged slow motions, as I stared at his lips– full and beautiful and chocolate stained.
“Here’s a napkin,” I told him abruptly.
He smiled, held it in his hand and continued speaking. Innocent, boyish.
“There’s chocolate on your mouth,” I finally said.
Startled, he wiped his mouth with the napkin. Even still, on the edge of his bottom lip, a small smudge remained.
“Is it gone?” he asks me.
“Yes. It’s gone.”