August 14, 2011

dog days/salad nights


"If you ever had a chance, it was right now, today," I said to my silent phone. I tossed it on the table and wiped paint from the bottom of my feet. Light blue clover-shaped footprints followed me around the kitchen.
"He's totally going to blow it," B remarked, crouching near the shelf. She was taking much more pains in neatening corners than I was.
"He's totally blowing it." I stabbed my paint brush in the creases of the wainscoting. "But that's okay. I don't even... he never had a chance. Even when he had a chance."

"I mean..."B grunted behind the shelf, "It doesn't have to be serious. You can let yourself have fun if you want."
I grunted in return. I actually could not. Even if I wanted to. Even if I knew what I wanted.

You cannot trust the things you want. They fear too much their own mortality to let you believe that you could ever learn to accept the trappings of having. I've never seen a person who wore accommodation well, who wasn't equally an effigy as a model. 

I was not even surprised when I heard back hours later. The moment had passed. I was secretly grateful for the delay. Who knows what I would've said when I thought I wanted you. Some dumb lie, I'm sure.
But since I've been practicing this, how to meet you halfway, I'm glad to be kept waiting.

In the meantime, you're smoking a cigarette on my stoop and for the first time this summer, it's a perfectly pleasant night. I don't even mind that I'm downwind. I hardly mind when you're flirting with me, and you don't seem bothered by my deflection. I'm trying to explain it to you without saying the words, but my intimacy is a bit rusty. You might already be dead, and I can't love a dead person. That is just crazy. But I think it's nice that we can not speak and I can feel at ease. It's nice that I can want nothing from you at all.


No one is ever sure if they will want this forever, or even 5 years from now or even 5 miles from now. But you can't evade it and it won't be ignored. It's the never-ending swim of sharks. To stop would be to sink. So you wait for resolutions that may never come, all the while indulging your lovesick longing that someday something will be so sure and doubtless about you.

Footholds and leverage are found in the wing-flap moments of what feels right, the wisps of good fortune that have hailed you from static. They guide you but they don't keep you.
If you collected them up, it is almost as if you can backtrack to the precise moment where things went wrong.

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