late.

napowrimo #2

up too late in a one
room apartment, you flick
dying skin and bite for my veins,

your toenails
digging lines into my
hardwood floors. you ask
me to imagine being swept
up by sand, our linked fingers
torn, our throats filling. i tell you
no and
our pupils contract.

mine, yours.
we do not fall
asleep by the light of the lamp.

home (office).

20140216-224356.jpgorganizing my office can be
the best part of the day.
i hide bits of glamour
behind the sheets of
coloured cardstock
& the decoupage.

i find where i can fit you in
and let yourself expose
you. i breathe and i
pretend i don’t
need cigarettes.

i breathe and i
pretend i’m not
nostalgic for the year before.

home (alone).

since my boyfriend started this thing where he flies across the country for a week at a time for work, i’ve started this thing where i’m scared of my own shadow. not sure why. of course i’ve lived on my own before, and that was in a sketchy area in an apartment with big windows on the ground floor.

now the furnace comes on in the still quiet of the evening and i jump in my own skin. i try to focus on netflix or the courses i’m taking for work or books or pepsi or the sound of my own feet on the squeaky, century-old floors. i try to not see silhouettes of strangers in my backyard through the reflections of light in the double panes of glass.

i thought i’d be lonely or bored; i’m not. the last thing i thought was that i’d become scared to be raped or murdered in the place i love most, my own home.

summer 2012.

my apartment is generally stifling and on the main floor of a house somewhere downtown. i think about how one day its walls will be a memory and how descriptions of them will speckle stories about strangers from my past, casual friends who evaporate into memories. i think about how comfortable it is, even in its heat, and how it is when i’m alone in it, and i fear not always living here. i think about how the fridge is home only to rotating brands of beer and empty pizza boxes, bottles of gin. about things i have not let go of and the things i never even brought. i think of the pain it would bring about, for everyone involved, to move the fish again.

there are very few bugs in this house but the sink doesn’t properly drain, there are pros and there are cons but if things truly bothered me i’m sure i would fix them. not just the drain. i’m handier than i let on. i am a lot of things i never let on.

we watch the daylight come and go and we meander from the workday morning to the sunday afternoon to the drunken midnight stumble somehow seamlessly. i smoke and do essentially nothing else, i cross off days on the calendar or study patterns on the ceiling but i am never bored. i write and hide the evidence, i apply for my passport, i read and toast bagels and eat them slowly with fresh fruit and wait for the coffee maker when i am alone.

it’s summer.
i never do anything productive when it’s summer and i don’t care to.

more chairs.

well it finally happened
and i live alone.

it took me a year but it happened. just me, and gunther of course. and king julien & mort, who survived yet another move and who have been noticeably upset with me ever since. i’m giving them some time to cool off.

i keep hearing that things will get better, that i’ll have a fresh start. i’ve heard it so many times and fallen for the promise so many times that i have nearly abandoned all hope. i’ve never really been much of a “hopeful” girl anyway, but i am easily tricked. friends tricked me, boys tricked me. and my own blind faith in myself and in others tricked me, too.

so here i am.
alone, where i should have been a year ago. what i wanted so badly last february. but i didn’t really want it, not yet, not then. because i tried for something else when i should not have. and that’s that. i chose to do it, somewhere. somehow i made decisions.

so whatever. it’s not like i actually give a fuck, obviously, about anything, or about tricks or those boys or those friends or a hat or etymology or deconstruction or getting thrown under the bus. because to care now i’d have to have cared then. and they’d be kidding themselves if they even briefly thought i did. which they know as well as i do.

i’m close,
to giving up. but not quite there. i have no hope, maybe, but it isn’t hope i need. it all works out, it’s all good, whatever. hakuna matata, life goes on. i’m all right. i’m always all right. not that anyone asked.

but then
they cared for me about as much
as i cared for them.

right?

jokes.

i made him a gift but i’ll
be in a silent backseat, the glass
has been given, the windshield
is already cracked

it’s getting colder all the time. i bought mittens because last year i remember finding comfort there. and because i think maybe i could use some comfort. i’ve never been very good at telling jokes. i forget them too easily.

i don’t go to the canal anymore, but i stop by the river once in awhile to see the swans and think fondly of summer, which makes me think fondly of spring, which makes me think fondly of winter, and mittens, and brings me comfort.

it has been six months.

i’m apartment hunting in my dreams. i’m not afraid anymore to live on my own; i need it. no one wants to be around me or suggests that they might. i don’t care. i don’t suggest that i might want to be around them either. i’m not good at jokes. i cast aside the things that have the potential to nurture me. i am cold. i don’t care. it is nice.

there’s a blanket i sometimes prefer to sleep beneath, but it’s out in the closet. my bed feels good the way it is. still, everything has come to this, to what i envisioned when he asked me, “what do you want?”

sometimes he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

living.

i’m not sure whether or not i planned to come to the cemetery, but i should have worn jeans instead of shorts. i brought a coffee. and my phone, just in case. when i come here i always sit with you because you are the only person i know here. the last time i came you were alone.

i can see a train passing by along the cut through the escarpment. it makes me think of that alice munro story, where rose, i think, takes that train and looks out over our sleepy valley town as she is touched (or not) by that strange man. i wonder if she can see me; then i realize that she can’t, not because she is fictitious, but because that was a freight train.

i spent a few minutes talking to you, even though i never really knew you. i’ve talked to you more since you’ve been here than i did when you were alive, because you were so intimidating to me. i told you some jokes, or tried to. i’m so bad at jokes.

i’ll never forget the first time i came here. how we found your grave in the dark, how we searched and searched the rows. then there was a joke about “brown hair tester” and i turned around laughing and there you were. and the light; it was like you led us right here. and then no more laughing, which doesn’t seem right either. and then the bad thing happened and we left and i didn’t come back for a long time. and i had all those nightmares.

you were twenty – no, almost twenty. it was just your birthday. you’d be twenty-eight. on your birthday i was writing a love letter, like an idiot. love takes everything away, because nobody wants to lose anything. nobody wants to sacrifice anything. i’m sure that everyone who loved you has no regret.

it feels very strange to be alive in a cemetery. your cemetery, where you are. this used to be a place to drink, to smoke weed, to trip on shrooms. to do chemical drugs and sleep on the grass as the sun came up. to shortcut home after school, to take the long way around for pickles. i like it a lot better the way it is now. a place to visit you, and to tell you bad jokes and anecdotes. and drink coffee. and be alive, no matter how strange that feels.