cans.

it was christmas. all the walls came down at my torn toenails, the way his heels still sometimes do. it wasn’t an accident or anything; i chipped at them until they would not stand.

when i got the phone number of my first “love” this weekend, from his mother (that classic boy-next-door, the one our mothers dreamt i would end up with), it all became so clear. if i just called him, i could walk a small town party with him, in my high-heeled shoes (he’s an AUTO-mechanic, say it with me), linking arms and catching up on the fifteen years we lost. i’m sure i could. but i saw everything beyond that fallen concrete when he kissed me, though i forget the kiss. i remember that there were two mouths and flaring nostrils that i could see straight into. i remember that i touched his skin, protruding, an uncanny and disturbing scar. i remember that there were teeth because they bit me. i remember that there was a boy there doing this with me, but i forget his face the way i forgot his number and was reminded (incorrectly – he’s always been a kidder).

there is no chance for me. in the same way that there is no remembering. there are only small town memories, churches and backyards. addresses in covers of trade paperbacks. places to linger. places to look back at and remember the man i have loved from the very first day, a man who never wrote me a farewell card. a man who had not been a man, who had still been the boy next door.

until that boy next door gets married, i don’t stand a chance. even if he disappears without a trace i will always stay this way, making all the same mistakes, choosing all the wrong numbers to remember. somewhere in me i’m sure that it’s on purpose.

because i’d rather drift alone forever never knowing, than know that he was just one call away.

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