December 26, 2010

you were made to meet your maker



A slim denim-clad man in a maroon knit cap stood in front of me, looking straight ahead. No, you don't know me and we've never met. If you ask me what color his eyes were I couldn't tell you. He held his hands in front of him and flexed his fingers. Across his knuckles, inked on to his hands were the letters: HOME SICK. There was an anchor there too. 
We didn't speak, but I tapped the knuckles on my right hand with my left index finger and nodded. He looked but didn't so much as nod back or acknowledge it so much as cock his head to the side so slightly, the motion seemed apologetic. The train reached Prince, and with one quick windshield-wiper motion a cigarette was in his mouth before even reaching the turnstile. In a wave of grey and black wool and leather, me and the rest of the commuting class resurfaced in Soho.


Nothing makes me more homesick than pubic transportation. The words grafted onto the skin of a stranger would be an apt reminder of that if I wasn't inherently always aware how familiar it feels every time, like the way the heat smells wafting out of dusty radiators for the first time every winter. I felt it then, the night before, and every day after that that I couldn't conceptualize. I missed you even when I was with you (maybe even especially then). It was the only warning I was afforded.


I had felt it for about a week now, most palpable in the small inconsistencies. The terrifying loss of control, the incessant ringing that would not let up until I saw an image of you in my head, a hush in the clearing. There was a nagging need to leave my own body and crush my particles into yours so we couldn't tell whose was whose or what was which. The most alarming feat proved the most compelling. I had forgotten almost how it was possible, to plunge into the velvet darkness of a foreign heart. It's airtight in there, you see, and I'm sometimes claustrophobic.

I had to wonder though, when it railed and raged inside my chest, kicking its little froggy legs so fervently to get to the surface. Just whose side are you on anyway? It only ever makes it to my throat. I don't think a heart is ever totally happy with all the decisions its bearer makes, but for the most part it stays put. And mine was just about ready to jump ship. I've got the heart of an arsonist but the nerves of an agoraphobic.

I thought of you last year and I thought of you five years ago, how many times we've never met and how many times I'll meet you again. Who I knew you would become. When I told you, I had to stop myself because you didn't think it was funny, even though I did. I always leave you and you always find me again. To accept you, to console you, to stand stock still as you burn right in front of me. As you ruin me in novel and unique ways. You're so clever every time.


I laid sandwiched between a sea of cotton and your express neurosis, manifested in your twitchy uncertainties with our own superficial intimacy. You lied on your back and looked at the ceiling, breathing out, breathing fire. I focused on your blinking as it became more rapid and erratic. It was the sheets that made me more nervous actually. They're all white, you see, and sometimes these things tend to get messy.


In a past life you might've been a hunter, but reincarnation made you soft. I thought you knew what you were looking for, just as much as I thought I knew what I would find. Instead I found your particles--they seeped straight out of you onto the bed and spilled on your bedroom floor until you were inside out. Until you were the elevator scene in The Shining. I couldn't hold them and I couldn't stop them. Every time I touched you was a tiny avalanche. 
I stared at the wall and held your face. I smelled your hair and glanced at the door. You dragged your ghost through my hair and my clothes, filling my pockets and my lungs until I was sure German Shepards could smell you on me a mile away. You said nothing I would hear without turning to stone. 
In a past life I might've been a wishing well, but reincarnation made me run. 

4 comments:

Simone said...

weird question, but was this the guy you saw on the train:

http://www.thestranger.com/images/blogimages/2009/11/19/1258653850-musiclead-click-_kelly-o.jpg

Sable said...

No, but I wouldn't mind it if he was!

Sable said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simone said...

This guy is actually in a band called Fences. He has the same tattoo as that dude you saw on the train. You should check him out (PS. His schtick is about how much of a fuck up he is).