Uncrossed Wires

You were always unavailable when I was single, and vice versa. Our feelings for each other would constantly reach dead ends, like wires crossed and sending only static. It was the opposite of synchronicity.

We spent many nights out at the old playground, swinging on creaky swings and watching our breath enter into the night. We’d talk about the afterlife, and art, and aliens, and anything else that entered our brains. Conversation was never difficult.

You’d sketch out little doodles for me, and I’d tell you all about the three act structure, characterization, and form. We’d watch movies, and I’d predict things a half hour before they happened. When you asked me how I did that, I’d let you peek behind the curtain too.

I wanted to so bad sometimes, but I never pushed things. I might not have always respected who you were with, but I respected you and your relationship with them. Months later, when we finally ended up together, you’d tell me how much you appreciated that, that I never came onto you or tried anything.

Kissing you for the first time was like taking a breath after being underwater for years. You’d think that feeling might fade, but it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think it ever will.

Lost Days

Life is on the other side of death. I’d learn this years later, living in another state, at a different job, with another person, in a different headspace, but I’d learn it all the same. Before I learned it, I found myself coming home just in time for the setting December sun, coming home from a hangout after Krav Maga after a writing session after work after a morning run. In those days, I’d fill up every waking minute of my day till nothing was left, coming home at 9, sometimes 10, not realizing then that I was doing anything I could to get away from you. I didn’t know it then, but these were my Lost Days.

The thing about toxic relationships is that when you’re in one, you hardly ever realize it. My head was in a fog, soul a million miles away, and I was dodging cars on Chicago streets with my bike, sometimes missing them by inches and not really caring what the outcome might be. When the idea of leaving you would cross my mind, I’d remember the years we’d already put into this thing and reconsider, as if recommitting to a years-long mistake would suddenly make it not a mistake.

I sat at this desk I’d been given day in and day out, performing mindless tasks, only to come home to arguing, or the cold shoulder if I was lucky. My writing was arguably the best it’s ever been in this period, and I know now that it’s because it was the perfect escape. I’d dealt with addiction before, but this one had none of the side effects I was used to. There was no writing hangover, no accompanying feeling of guilt and emptiness after I finished. There was just me exploring me and putting it on the page. And when I’d share my stories with you, make sure you were the first to know about a publication, you’d shrug it off. I remember you once told me to get back to you when I got published in a big magazine, but not until then.

You kept telling me to be something or stop being another thing. You said I wasn’t funny like I used to be. That I was too serious all the time, and quiet, and that I’d space out a lot. I know now that that’s because I was depressed and felt stuck, but I buried that idea deep down. I went to my Zen service, I went to Krav Maga, I went running, I had writing sessions, I hung out with old friends, and I went on bike rides. After a particularly nasty argument, I ran 18 miles–9 miles away from you and 9 miles back. I hadn’t planned it, it just sort of happened.

I think I published so I could remind myself that I was a writer, that I didn’t have to be trapped at that office job and in that toxic relationship forever. You started coming home late too, but not for the same reasons. You’d go out drinking with your work friends, come home at 2, 3 in the morning or sometimes not at all. When you wouldn’t come home, you were “staying with a friend.” And then there was the time you were tagged in a Facebook picture, your body right up against another guy at a party. How you laughed when I brought it up, how you said that you weren’t even touching him when there was literal photo evidence that you were. I didn’t know the term gaslighting then, didn’t know that that’s what you were doing. But I’d come to learn.

All the while, I put together my novel. It was framed as nonfiction, the main character telling his story, but I fictionalized it just enough for me to be comfortable sharing my own story with the world. I sent out excerpts from it and got a few published. It hit me that there were several places out there in the literary world that liked this story. That maybe I could get the book published too, as long as I tried hard and put myself out there. So I wrote, and I didn’t stop writing. I wrote long after I broke up with you, long after I moved to another state and started working for myself and found someone new, someone who actually valued who I was as a person. But let’s go back to the setting December sun.

I was on my way back home, sun disappearing behind Chicago skyline, crossing through Warren Park on my way back to our apartment, pedaling my bike through the light dusting of snow that was just then starting to cling to the ground. I was about halfway through the park when the handlebars came loose. My tools were at home, so I pedaled through it, the handlebars getting progressively more wobbly, until it was hard to steer at all. Then the chain fell off. I stopped the bike, got off, flipped it upside down, and worked on this chain that had never given me problems before. I worked for an hour or more in the biting cold, my hands covered in grease and so cold I could barely feel them. I toiled at this thing, trying to fix what I gradually realized was unfixable.

After enough time had passed, I just left it behind. I tipped the bike over till it fell on its side, and I walked away. I dialed the friend I’d just hung out with and asked him if I could crash at his place for the night. He said I could. Of course I could. So I turned around, and I walked through the gathering snow, and I never looked back.

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Dangerous Indeed

It started with us slow dancing to “Syrup” by Company of Thieves on your fuzzy rug, my feet bare and yours wearing socks with cute skulls on them. Our steps were as tentative as our hands, not quite sure where to place them. Your hair hung in front of your eyes as you looked down to check where your feet were going, and when you looked back up, your eyes caught mine right as Genevieve crooned, “Your love syrup, so sweet, I feel dangerous indeed.”

It felt like we were teenagers again, flirting, laying our words like playful traps and seeing what we’d catch. I hadn’t done this in years, and neither had you. It’s amazing what you can get used to: the monotony of stale love, the painful acceptance that things will never change. But then they did, and we did, and it was awesome.

We were both veterans of abuse and mistreatment, and we agreed that that sort of stuff builds character, but between us we had enough character to last several lifetimes. It was time to just be happy. Every story needs drama, but sometimes that drama needs to be kept safely in the past. So we danced. YouTube’s autoplay algorithm was on point that night, moving seamlessly from one sweet song to the next. After a while it didn’t matter, though. We could’ve danced to anything.

When that was through, we went for a night walk, sky clear and stars shining through. I joked about how back home in Chicago I could hardly see anything because of the light pollution, that you should count yourself lucky you live in North Carolina where the stars are plentiful. We flirted some more as we walked, and I did that thing where I pretended to softly karate chop you. I did it just to have an excuse to touch you, and you knew that. You karate chopped back.

It’s all about timing with these things. You’d just gotten out of a toxic relationship, and I knew you were in no position to commit to anything right away. We danced with our words, too. You needed someone who could accept you “as you are” and do simple things with you like “go on night walks.” I insisted that there was “someone just like that out there” and that “they might be right there in front of you and you don’t even know it.” You needed time, and I was willing to give it to you. You were worth the wait.

Before “Syrup” became our song, I’d listen to it again and again, seeing you in that relationship that was draining the life out of you. I’d wince every time it got to the end of the song, when Genevieve would lament that “it’s a damn shame we couldn’t be.” But dancing with you to that song for the first time, I couldn’t help but smile at those words, almost laugh at them. We were dangerous indeed.

When you needed support, I gave it to you. When you needed to hear that you could do it, I told you you would do it. My words weren’t empty, and you knew that. Years back, I’d been through the same thing, and I’d made it to the other side. And the dances continued, and the karate chops, and the night walks with stars that shifted their position in the sky as the days and weeks passed by.

There’s something to be said for letting something bloom. For watering it, giving it sun, singing to it, and watching it go from nothing to something. Something to be said for letting things take their natural course, for trusting the flow of things. The flow of people, and events, and affection. It flows like syrup, so sweet.

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SOS

sos

We cut our teeth on B horror movies on VHS, having to adjust the tracking to make them even halfway viewable, that’s how much we watched them. Shooting Cheez Whiz directly into our mouths and hiding under our pillow fort, Space Jam blanket underneath to keep us comfy. Watching Troll 2, Cheez Whizzing every time someone says Nilbog. Her taking out the pink bike her parents gave her on her twelfth birthday and me helping her spray paint it a cerulean blue. I gave her two of my pegs, and the way I tried to hide my blush when she gave me a hug.

The bully’s knuckle cutting my cheek, blackening one of my eyes, adrenaline making me grab a stick, hit him in the head, make my escape. And when she saw what happened to me, bringing me over to her house and putting ice pops on my face ‘cause that’s all they had in the freezer. Then sitting down in her basement, me watching her play Game Boy Color out of my one good eye, sidling up close to make as if I wanted to get a better view but really just trying to get closer to her.

Mom screaming at Dad and throwing plates, me sneaking out with my walkie talkie before it could get physical, out in the night, calling for backup. Us circling the block, underneath the buzzing street lamps, cicadas screaming in protest at the humid air. Her blonde hair frizzed up against rain droplets as she distracted me with descriptions of the last episode of Pokémon that I’d missed. And when that went away, how she laced her fingers into mine and we walked like that, with the sound of droplets and cicadas, street lamps buzzing and cars dopplering down the interstate.

We were sixteen and she was moving to a new town a couple hours away, us swinging on swings and kicking up packed-in wet sand, insisting we’d chat on AIM and ride the Amtrak on weekends, her turning away and making as if she was looking at the sunset sky while she covered up her tears. There was a storm drain that snaked through the underbelly of our torn-up town, and we’d pried a manhole open to gain access to it, would sneak down there to write stories by Maglite and get away from everything for a while.

She felt the concrete floor for dampness before sitting down, put her legs together so her Converse were two sides of the same coin. She took the Maglite in her hand and shined SOS on the concrete wall, no signs of help coming. She turned and shined the light in my face till I saw spots in my eyes, leaning over and struggling with her over the Maglite. I freed it from her and shut it off, bringing darkness to our little hideaway. Silence. Not even the sound of our breath. The warmth of her leg next to mine, then her hand. Our fingers touching tentatively like a cat’s whiskers as it sniffs something new. Her lips at the corner of mine, staying for a while, then leaving. Fumbling in the dark to find her, hands now over her clothing, she’s completely still now, but letting it happen. Hand sliding under and her saying my name, saying we shouldn’t. My hands moving. Her teeth on my shoulder, moisture spreading on my shirt. The buckle and the button and the zipper. These are meant to hold together, but we’re coming apart now. Coming apart together. Her panties slide away and her hand is in my hair, saying we don’t have to do this. As if there’s any other choice. We slide our way into the dark and she tells me to pull out. When I try, she reaches back and holds my hips, goes limp in front of me as I shudder.

When we can say something, we say Oh no, or Oh God, and we sit next to each other, and I switch the Maglite on, and we cry in turns, alternating between who comforts whom, the Maglite now flickering in my hands from its dying battery, sending the concrete wall into staccato relief, mapping out its own SOS as our cries fade away into silence.

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One of Those Things

Sunset

He checked her Instagram on a Sunday afternoon, remembering simpler days when they’d lie sprawled on the hood of his car listening to “The Suffering,” one earbud a piece. They’d look out over the pepto pink sky and just listen. They’d trade off vocals when it came to the chorus, smiling as they sang so that their performances were affected. And when they went to the concert to see it live, him holding her up so she could see the lead singer belting it out.

And there she was doing the same thing, collecting scraps of his life in one-off posts, scouring likes and comments for clues, wondering what ever happened to undo what they had together. It was just one of those things. She remembered above all else how they were when they saw each other again after a long absence, like a ship come to moor, drifting effortlessly toward shore. There was parking outside his house at night and shining a laser pointer through his window till he joined her, careening through the neighborhood like bandits, no destination in mind, just driving.

And now she sits alone in her room watching the ceiling fan turn and turn and turn, her cat nuzzling her hand, pausing over his number, wondering if she should text, and she composes something, deletes it, starts over.

And there he is in his room, thinking he might text her, or send a snap. Maybe tag her on a funny meme. There were so many options. He settled on an email, trying to catch up after these long years away, detailing what he’d been up to since then, leaving the possibility of meeting up dangling at the end like a worm off a hook.

She responded almost too fast, giving her own account of the years’ goings-on, agreeing that meeting up might be a good idea. She proposed a date and he accepted. Then of course there was actually having to get ready for the thing, wondering if they should go, both of them, but eventually doing it, getting ready and going to the agreed upon spot. Then there’s that thing where you see this person after all the years apart, taking in the subtle differences, the way that features have made good on their promises.

They both wonder if they should move in for the hug, and it becomes an awkward thing between the two of them, wondering if the hug should include a pat on the back, but it doesn’t, and when they move apart there’s a moment where their faces are inches apart and they look into each other’s eyes knowing what should happen but won’t.

They stand in silence until she breaks it with a hi. Nothing makes noise around them. Everything is still. He says hi back. They haven’t planned much beyond this point, but something has to happen. They walk to the park adjoining her apartment, watch the way the sun dapples the leaves on the trees before they fall, fluttering safely to ground. Their hands are in their pockets, but for a moment their instincts kick in and they reach for hands that can no longer be grasped. Their fingers graze before they remember, warmth in this early Fall cold.

Neither of them speak, just walk and take in the chill of the air, the sounds of cars dopplering by. Everything sounds piped in. A mother passes them pushing a stroller. They both wanted kids, but he didn’t after they broke up. He couldn’t tell if it was a “her or nothing” thing, but that’s how it was. It was just one of those things.

She tells him she’s really missed him and he says he’s missed her too. The silence comes back and they stay in it a while. He asks if she still wants kids. He doesn’t know why he asks it, but she says yes.

They find a bench and sit down.

She sets her purse down between them and they stare out at the leaves on the trees, their variegated colors. He opens his mouth to say something, but nothing comes out. Instead, he places his hands in his lap. She reaches into her purse and pulls out an iPod. He watches as she plugs in the earbuds, scrolls to her song of choice and hands an earbud to him. The opening notes of “The Suffering” play. The two of them look out over the sky coming down to dusk, pink turning to purple, and just listen.

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Hover

Hover

The way her nipple slid in and out of view was like the fin of a shark peeking over the water and falling away for a stealthy approach. He let her subsume him, this woman, let her slide into all the days and ways that he was a man. They came to the surface, gasping choking breaths, tunnelling a way through the water to seaweed and refuse on the beach. When they came to, they were lying there, on the beach, toes dug into the freezing sand, and that’s where they slept all night.

It was on the ridge of a large and vast mountain, scarves to keep the cold out, breathing filtered air, and that’s all their love was. Just a filtered version of a thing that couldn’t be reached. They made love on the ridge in the freezing cold, her wetness turning to ice as he moved inside of her. It was them on the ridge, kissing like this was the last thing they could do, becoming the beast with two backs.

Or maybe it was in the way she rolled over to let him come in, legs tangled in knotted seaweed, gnarled and gangrene tendrils of it twisting and convulsing in the light of the moon. It was a rollicking fever of him with another woman, making these motions with her on the same night, minutes later, barely waiting between the two of them. It was an appetite like a wild beast.

It was her knowing all the time, inhaling the scent of the other woman on his cheeks, neck, chest. It was being aroused before being heartbroken, and the way he looked at her like that, in the night, in the glow of an old, dusty lamp, saying with his eyes that he couldn’t stop this, that it had gone too far.

It was clawing their way through the sand dunes, naked feet like grappling hooks, knowing that if the sun were a little closer they’d be walking on glass, if they could even walk at all. And him receiving a text, then a call, stepping away to take it. Looking at her as if he could stare belief into her. She pulled away from his hand’s grasp and walked on.

It was the scent of sex on his body that would stay no matter how many showers he took, stuck to him like a scarlet letter. And the way she would take out her notebook and journal next to him in bed, detailing her woes, hoping he’d see them, though he never did, chose not to, deliberately looked away.

It was in the way she never said it out loud, as if to speak it was to give it power, was to allow it to exist in the real world. She took to hovering above the ground, just over the surface, face facing floor to the point where she could smell carpet, could feel its fibers brush against her nose. When he’d walk in she’d fall to the ground with a thud and gasp in breath.

It was in the way she’d claw every available surface till there was blood under her nails and they’d break altogether, crack and splinter like wood being bombarded. It was in the way she screamed into her pillow at first, then stabbed it, then set it on fire and threw it out the window. She could still hover, now feet above the ground, now grazing the ceiling, now stuck to it.

And how he came home that night, buttons of his shirt torn off, lipstick imprints on his chest, his arms, and how she fell when she hovered that night, splitting her lip on hardwood, and how he came down to help her, put ice in a baggy and held it to her mouth, kissed her forehead to make it all better. And how it actually did make it all better, if only for a moment, before the next time.

It was him giving it a name, admitting he had a problem and that he’d stop. It was her believing him and not having to hover so much, being able to stay on the ground. It was when he came home like a wounded dog and she could see it in his eyes, wouldn’t need him to explain, to enumerate, to expound. She was done.

It was her lying facedown on the grass while he was out, and hovering gently above the blades. It was rising above the hedges, then above her house, and up still past the tallest trees in the neighborhood. It was seeing all of her neighborhood, then city, then state. It was seeing her country, her planet, then beyond the stratosphere. It was gliding past satellites, sliding swiftly and silently into the coldness of space. It was rising till she was clear of the solar system, then shifting toward milky nebulae swirling in stillness, hollow pinks and blues, then beyond even that, through black holes, flying faster now, higher, although what was higher was now lower. It was flying on beyond the infinite and only then exhaling.

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Pinching the Moon

Me and the Moon

We’re sitting in Joelle’s car, her rolling a joint, me looking out at the full moon and pinching it between my fingers. She is not mine. Not like in a possession sense, but let’s just say we should not be here and doing this right now. She drops some of the weed down her shirt and fishes half of it out. The rest will be stuck there forever. When she licks the joint she looks at me. I stop pinching the moon. I pinch her head instead, but she’s not far enough away for it to be accurate from a perspective sense.

She lights it and takes a drag, hands it to me and then exhales, like she had to ensure its safe delivery before letting out her air. I’ve known her since the sixth grade. Her guy has been with her for six months. I don’t say that to make everything seem okay. I’m using it as more of like an interesting fact. A did you know.

Joelle has this birthmark under her eye in the shape of a tiny heart and I’m pinching that since the perspective is in the goldilocks zone. She tells me to stop as if I’m pinching it for real, but laughs after she says it.

I drag hard, hold the smoke in for as long as I can before letting go. I try not to, but I cough. She calls me a lightweight and steals it back. We talk about where we are and where we want to be. I make up some life where I’m happy on my own and she doesn’t call bullshit even though I can tell she wants to.

The smoke circumscribes the car till she rolls down the windows. She was never one to hotbox. I was, so I roll mine up. She rolls it back down and locks the window. The joint’s getting to pinching status, so when I take it back our fingers touch for a second, then let go. The moment breathes through both of us.

Joelle laughs and I ask her why, but she doesn’t have an answer. It’s hitting us all at once, stretching seconds into minutes and warping everything like a spaceship starting to blueshift. She can do nothing but smile, nothing but laugh.

It’s become a roach. I motion to give it back to her for the last hit. She doesn’t reach out for it. What she does is she shifts in her seat. What she does is she stretches out to me. What she does is she takes the hit as I hold the joint, her lips kissing my thumb and forefinger.

When she pulls back, I almost drop the roach on my seat. Instead, I toss it out the window and look at her. Her cheeks are burning as she laughs and laughs and laughs. I ask her what she’s laughing about again, but she only looks at me. Her blue eyes reflect the light inside her car, the headlights outside of it. She looks at me as if to say “You know.”

I wonder where to take this from here. We’ve been friends since sixth grade. It could work or it could not, and am I prepared to take that kind of loss if it backfires? Am I willing to risk a beating by her pituitary case of a boyfriend? Or is it all in good fun? I don’t know.

Joelle can feel the tension, we both can. So she produces a second joint and lights it up. Its cherry glows with her sporadic inhalations like stop and go traffic. I am to take this joint like nothing has just happened between us. Her leg glows palely in the light like sculpted marble. I ask her what that was. She asks what and I just say that.

I don’t know, she says, but her eyes hold on me as she does. I put out the joint. I lean in to her and go for it. She pulls away and asks what the fuck. What the fuck, Hal? I have nothing to say, so I say nothing. I have nothing to do, so I look anywhere but at her.

Joelle grabs me by the chin and turns me toward her, so I have to look. What the fuck, she asks again. I just say I don’t know. I’m halfway about to ask if we can still be friends when she leans in and kisses me. I don’t have to say the rest. You know. The moon shined on the maiden fair. My eyes became bugeyes. And all that.

When the smoke clears and the high fades enough, she starts up her car and takes me home. Her cheeks burn the whole way. We say things, but not really. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Commenting on the song that’s playing, etc.

She parks and we kiss some more by streetlight. She pauses between each kiss, cheeks still red, like she’s going to pull away but then doesn’t. Chooses not to. Pulls back in. If I don’t get out of the car, I never will. I say all right, then. She says okay. I say so. She doesn’t say anything after that.

I open the car door and get out. Shut it behind me. She rolls down the window. Opens her mouth to say something, but nothing comes out. I turn away before anything else can happen and walk inside. The last thing I hear is her car dopplering away, first a rumble, then nothing at all but a rush of wind.

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Friends, Romans, Countrymen

Orange juice :)

When I was little, I thought it was possible to know everything. I collected encyclopedias, dictionaries, old textbooks Dad left around. I read about things I didn’t understand so I’d remember when I would understand. I hung around conversations in Dad’s office, picked up on facial cues and double entendres. Understood that when the whiskey was around and Mom wasn’t, things would happen.

Closed door. Knock. Open. “What are you doing?” “Things.” Lather rinse repeat.

One day I came into the kitchen to find a naked woman drinking orange juice straight out of the bottle. I told her that wasn’t very hygienic. That she should pour it into a glass. Dad came in and nearly passed out. Shooed the woman out and into the living room, where I could still see her guzzling from the bottle, sitting on our couch.

“Want to play a game? Hey. Let’s go into the den and play a game, doc. Ignore the lady.”

“She shouldn’t be drinking straight from the bottle. It spreads germs.”

“Sure. I’ll tell her. But don’t tell your mother. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“It’s just things anyway. Only things.”

“Okay.”

He bought me a brand new OED a week later. A new word, one I heard Mom hissing behind closed doors:

Infidelity

NOUN

1. The action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or other sexual partner:
‘her infidelity continued after her marriage’
[count noun] ‘I ought not to have tolerated his infidelities’

2. Disbelief in a particular religion, especially Christianity.

Origin Late Middle English (in the senses ‘lack of faith’ and ‘disloyalty’): from Old French infidelite or Latin infidelitas, from infidelis not faithful (see infidel).

Infidelitas. Latin. Romans. Gladiators. Cool.

I spent the rest of the day charting the origins of gladiator fighting, first held in 310 BC by the Campanians in celebration of their victory over the Samnites. How the practice changed over time, but almost always followed a military victory. Celebrating death with death. The way Dad would gargle mouthwash before Mom got home. The way he straightened his tie and shooed the women out the door, friends, all of them. Friends, Romans, countrymen.

Shakespeare and his tragedies. The Hubris of Macbeth. Hamlet. Alas, poor Yorick. So much to learn. The orange juice lady back. This time with her clothes on. Coming over more and more often. Dad putting empty whiskey bottles in the neighbor’s trash. Changing and doing laundry quick enough that it’d be done before Mom got home.

Trying to think of knowing everything in the context of an image. Clear. Transparent. A house made of glass giving way to more houses and more glass. The goings on of everyone out and on full display.

Sitting with Mom on days that Dad’s out busy. Asking me if anything was on my mind. Anything at all. Anything your father might have said or done.

“Can I be excused?”

“Why?”

“I don’t feel good.”

“You seemed just fine a minute ago.”

“Please, Mom?”

There must’ve been something desperate on my face, because she actually let me go.

Not even hiding it from me anymore, the orange juice lady out and playing card games on the kitchen table. Solitaire. Early 18th century. From Latin solitarius. See solitary. Showing me how to play, how once you have the Aces you have to pile one card on top of another on top of another till every card is gone. Dad watching me watch her, his eyes glazed and far away.

Mom coming home.

The tears and the apologies and the hands held to hit but dropped at the side. The orange juice lady walking one way then another like a pinball locked between two bumpers. Dad nearly stumbling over, though from the whiskey or situation it isn’t sure. Probably both.

Then it’s watching the cards scatter then fall as Mom grabs the table, one at a time, an avalanche of them, and it’s in seeing a thing that you truly know it. That you can read about it, hear about it, but until you’ve seen it right there in front of you, you know nothing.

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Fuga, flight. Fugere, flee.

Because when I wanted Clair de Lune coming from a Bluetooth speaker on the beach, waves coming close but not quite reaching, sun behind gray clouds, the whole nine, I wanted it with him and not with you. Because when I shiver it’s from the foreignness of your touch, the wrongness of it, like raw egg sliding down your spine. Because when you’re gone I write out envelopes to his address, stamp them, mail him not nothing but the absence of something, one a week. Because when my head’s on the pillow that still smells of him, thoughts hazy and hypnagogic, I wade out into the sea, up to my neck, and feel the weight as I breathe in, one two three. Because when I wander these streets now, hills covered lovely in fog, the mist that dances on grass blades, I see nothing but particles bouncing at different wavelengths, random specks fluttering from here to there, ever separate. Because when I turn your head away from me in bed, turn it till you’re looking at the ceiling and I can be sure you don’t see me, not even from your peripheral, I make the faces that drove him over the edge, the faces for him but not for you. Because when I say fugue you say what, but when I said it to him it could be found in the French, or the Italian, from the Latin fuga, flight, related to fugere, flee.

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