Monthly Archives: July 2012

I saw her sitting there

I saw her sitting there, in front of the locked window, the streaming sunlight burning her hair as she carved her emotions into the well-worn frame.  Her aching fingers moved with a frantic yet firm intentionality, her strong nails desperate to leave a mark in the rotting wood, her body begging to expunge its anxiety.  She made intricate designs, long, curvy lines intersecting and converging in a broken corner where she’d once hammered in a hook.  It used to hold her father’s old camera until the hook fell off from its weight.

She remembers her days in Paris, the men she’d known, the songs she’d sung walking unprotected in the rain.  Some of her favorite lectures play out in a hazy reverie, the snippets of fierce feminist monologues, daydreams of Pushkin, talks over Fellini films.  She wonders why she didn’t take more chances, but she doesn’t regret a thing.  She doesn’t regret anything.

From the corner of her eye, she sees me watching her.  She pretends not to notice, and I remain rooted to the floor, silent.  My right ear starts ringing, and her body goes gently limp, whether from the weight of her memories or disappointment in my dishonesty, I can’t tell.  The room smelled faintly of cigarettes and her, and I, in my cowardice and despair, knew not what to do but swallow my thoughts and leave.

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And i missed him.

I thought it was unfair, but he was okay with it. And although my brain was telling me this wasn’t right, he made me feel comfortable with the choices i was making. He’d always leave me with vague questions, unplaceable feelings, an incomplete experience, but never did i feel discomfort. Nor resentment.

We walked with purpose, like two heroes on a mission, although truthfully, we had nothing to do, nowhere to be. What was my greatest mission? What was his?

I had no reason to trust him, but i did. And so i kept walking. Accompanying him, the space between us reverberating, not knowing how to walk. How to keep him safe and me safe at the same time. How to be honest and not risk anything. How to risk but not lose anything.

And while i was sad to leave, i was satisfied with how that night came to a close: the sharp snap of a door, the rustle of an adjusted shoulder strap, and the glance we refused to share.

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