I’ve written with you in mind, and under my fingertips, these keys are pressed a hundred times, times a hundred times.
If I had known how much you would take from me, I would have ignored your response all those months ago. Instead, I responded with interest and listened with intent. At least I thought so. Perhaps you feel differently.
Who knew your words could cut the way that they did. Cold as steel, like my numb hands, my empty palms.
Not in a hundred years would have seen it coming. I’ve told myself that when you call, I should not answer. When you message, I should ignore. Intentional, though I hate the decision because I’ll soon be struck with regret.
Do you understand?
I write with hopes of unfolding something new to myself. Something unknown; something I can trace back to, something I can follow. To me, it’s like an unfinished map, missing pieces from the edges, miscolored, blurry; ancient.
I thought forever meant a lifetime, but as I sit here I see forever can be a moment in time. Forever slipping away the further I go. It’s difficult to erase a memory fueled by emotion: this is curiosity, this is interest, this is love, and infatuation, and disappointment, and rage.
And so a few hours pass, the sun rises and the house empties.
In an hour I’ll receive a phone call that goes unnoticed. The warm mug that held my coffee will feel cold to my hands, weightless, empty and ready for replacement. My belly whines in fractured gurgles, like water boiling eggs or bombs drowning a city.
The longer I sit here the more desperate I feel. Ideas scatter in mysterious patterns and I struggle to retain them. Most of them are duds, empty carcasses. Some ignite into potentially something, then burst back into flames, then into dust, then they are gone.
But sometimes, if given enough time, I rediscover an idea that has marinated for long in my head. Then I feel desperate again and anxious and excited. I grab and twist my black beard and stare at an empty notebook. A moment later, without thought, I plunge a blend of old ideas onto paper. The mysterious patterns, the weightless mug, and the rising sun breach my memory and join in a blend of rational nonsense.
And now, somehow, the old map has more meaning and reads less confusing. An obvious pattern, a series of circles, a story of something, written with someone in mind.
Originally published at Medium on November 12, 2019.