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.
i never do anything productive when it’s summer and i don’t care to.
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.
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.
they cared for me about as much
as i cared for them.
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.
(contrary to boys.)
one thing follows another. there is you, and there is no you, and by the end there never was. you are less than memory. i spilled lies about being your friend. i am my ex-boyfriend’s friend, i am my ex-lover’s friend, i am my occasional casual fuck’s friend. i am not yours. you never existed. there is no you. they understand, and in the absence of you there is room for that type of comparison.
there is a space i allow myself to venture into once every two or three years, that i don’t actually belong in. i find my way through trickery, all deceit and lies. sometimes my own, sometimes not my own. it doesn’t matter. the space is always itself, it does not ask for more. i make no comparisons there. i gauge no reactions, i scan no bodies looking for a perfect place, a dream. i count no items. the space is welcoming and lets me believe i am safe there. the space collapses quickly once it begins. as these spaces tend to do. you were that space, and now you are not.
it is simple.
girls like me cannot breathe honestly there, they do not make logical sense there, they cease to exist inside. it is a good thing there are not many girls like me.
you are flat, and
the strangled shadow of
an orca on its belly
the way a pen
explodes inside a purse is
how you came, or
how a skirt will fall across
my legs when
nerves are strung
reminders cold and
violent of your frightened
where the track
splits i stand and
am shaky, alternate
route to prevention,
certain insecurity, to
bolts of rails
that spiral at the
i made a horrible mistake that was entirely preventable. i convinced myself it would be better to have you as friends. i thought it could be nice. i thought it would help me feel sane if i was all friendly and open and included in exchange for that. i cheated myself completely and became everything i’m not very good at. i let people into my home. i stayed late and shared cigarettes and told people things, secret things, and made myself vulnerable. i thought it could be nice.
i forgot that friends can abandon you, and will, once they’ve taken what they want from you. i forgot that there are no secrets, that they share everything they know of you. it makes for casual conversation. i forgot not to trust anyone, ever, or anything (scrape it off).
i spent three months destroying everything i’d spent three years building because i thought it could be fucking nice. it is ridiculously depressing. i don’t know what on earth i was fucking thinking. it was so much simpler when i used to use you and only showed up once a month.
never trust your instincts.
and never care about anyone. because no one cares about you.