Time ticks by slowly, then all at once, speeding by, disappearing into a blur. I want to smash it, the time on the wall, leave nothing but shards of minutes and moments on the hard wood floor. I’ve had enough of it, enough of time, enough of its reminder of just how long we have been gone. Oh and the calendar, with its slick pages of dreamy photographs, and all those tidy boxes to check off and count, I’d like to rip it to shreds. Tear each page haphazardly, ignoring the perforations, scarring my fingertips in paper cuts in the process. The sting distracts me, turns my attention away briefly, giving me tiny drops of blood to focus on instead of the memory of your face.
Once the band-aids are applied, each wound kissed for luck (something my Grandmother used to do), the flip book of photographic memory invade my eyes, playing like a drive-in movie on the inside of my closed lids, silent films that say nothing, but show everything, every heartbeat, every break in the fabric, every kiss that left me trembling. I try to blink you away, but you never go away.
I walk across the floor, avoiding the pieces of glass and broken arms at first, and then saying fuck it, I need to feel this, I need to hurt like this, I need to bleed more, and more, and more. So I dance in it, I stomp on it, grinding the sharp edges deeper into my flesh, feeling nothing at first, then everything, screaming from the shock of pain. It feels like freedom. It feels like release. It feels like that moment in the midst of a crowd, the lights out, sweat dripping, permeating flesh and atmosphere, the music ricocheting off the stage. My voice is loud like that, like how it sounds when I sang-a-long at every gig I could get to. How I wanted to say yes when you said my darling, come along for all of it.
Was it fear that made me decline the offer? I tried to justify with all those tried and true excuses of work and life and responsibility, but they sounded false falling from my lips. I didn’t believe a word I said, did you? Would it have changed a god-damn thing if I’d packed it all in, grabbing a suitcase and a notebook, and climbed on the bus beside you? Would you still love me tomorrow, as the song asks? Would I still love you?
Regardless, now, bygones and bystanders, and all this time ticking by, all this blood stained regret. I fill pages with all of it, with you and me and all the indecision. We kept stopping and starting, colliding then retreating, making each other come then coming apart at the seams. We were out of lovers out of time sometimes meeting up, hitting the galaxies with fingers weaved together, bodies intertwining, writhing, until one of us had to come up for air. And I sit here now, wondering, straining to remember, was it me this time, or you, who said goodbye?
All those early mornings, coffee steaming in our hands, causing cloud cover between our words. You lit my cigarette, then your own, and asked me what my favorite book was as a child. Years later, during one of our many reconciliations, you sat by my side while I was feverish, a late Fall flu taking me down, and pulled it out, that book I once mentioned, and read it until I fell asleep.
I bought a copy of it last month in a used bookstore. It was lying in a pile of yet to be sifted and sorted and priced, it caught my eye and I had to ask the green haired girl behind the counter if I could buy it. She started to say it wasn’t for sale, until we locked eyes, then she said just give me a dollar and its yours. So now its mine. Its here with me. I lie in bed holding it open, reciting the words into the echo of an empty room, but it doesn’t sound the same without you.
I never asked what yours was. If I knew perhaps I would look for it, too. Keep it close just in case you ever need a wayward girl’s voice to read it to you, holding your hand while you slowly fall asleep.
The Ice is Getting Thinner :: Death Cab For Cutie
Windfall :: Son Volt
Come Pick Me Up :: Ryan Adams
Fortunately Gone :: The Breeders
This Year :: The Mountain Goats
Pass Me By (live) :: Pete Yorn