My latest post on the What The Hellz Blog today!
Walking down the street from work, and I can still hear your footsteps next to me as I walk alone. I’m exhausted, and I’m ready to go home. The cool autumn breeze taunts me as I get on the train, and I the whispering wind reminds me that Summer is over. There are no seats on the train so I stand, and I lose my balance as it starts and stops as I try holding on to the memory of you.
I take off the clothes that smell like sunshine and hikes, and check my pockets for the change I keep to remind me what I’m worth. I pull my hopes from the bag I carry and put them in a box on the top shelf, because I like them high, just beyond my reach. My eyes catch the box full of my standards, just below that.
I brush out my hair and the tangled mess we made. The hurt of straightening them out is only temporary, and I find solace there. Opening the medicine cabinet, I stare at all the painkillers I’ve become addicted to — your smile, your smell: laundry and deodorant. Withdrawal pains hurt, even without them.
The hot water of my shower soothes my skin, as I’m careful not to scrub off your lingering touch. Washing my hair that smells “like Narnia”, as I watch the allusion go down the drain. I wrap myself in the towel that feels like your arms and I close my eyes and pretend…
I like to play pretend.
Memories hang nicely in my closet where I can see them, and I put on all the things you gave me — this smile, my direction, that inspiration, your point of view. I iron out my clothes and the wrinkles of our inconstancies. They all go so nicely together, but I don’t dare look in the mirror…it only shows me all the things I’m not. I pull a rubber band off the ball I keep to one day bounce back, and I tie my hair up, out of my face. I check my phone and fix the time on my watch; funny how we could never get our timing right.
I’m having Cheerios for dinner, and I grab the milk from the fridge. It sits in between all the bottled tears I never let myself cry, and my cold heart. I eat on the balcony, and look at the tree I’ve spent so much time under. I see all of my hopes and intentions hanging on the limb I put them on and look back on my decision to go out on that limb in the first place.
Can’t seem to get a grip on it all, and I drop my glass of water. I cut my hand on the glass and start bleeding love. Mickey Mouse bandaids hide the raw knuckles I use to beat myself up over the things I can’t change. I sweep the broken glass and promises under the rug, next to all of the other things I pretend I don’t see.
I told you, I like to play pretend.
I put my shoes on to take out the trash and the baggage we’ve left behind. Shit. I step in a puddle and get my heart and sole murky. The souls of these shoes are so worn from all the steps we’d made…back, back, forth, and forth… I should have known better than to put them on after the rain.
I climb into my sheets and the memories between them. My eyes are flooding, and I drown. When my pillows talk they sound just like you… saying all the things I wish were true. I shut down the light switch and my emotions. I slip into a state of being halfway asleep as rest has not come easy. I jump awake and instinctively reach over, but the coolness of your side of the bed feels just like Fall.
And I don’t yet know how to get up.