Maybe I’m ready to be near someone who
sees all my faults,
can list every shortcoming
day after day.
I’m ready to stop trying so hard
to be anything other than exactly that which
I should be so lucky to find
I have hope;
I have faith.
Your loveless bones against mine, hollow but for marrow.
If I break you down to just the parts;
Anatomical slivers of
Between my caving ribs,
Do I feel you less?
In 2015, I learned that my type is unavailable men and Taylor Swift.
Solid year of self-discovery.
Moving right along.
I didn’t know it then. We were all
twisted limbs and exploring fingers dancing over torsos
in fluttering morning light;
knees brushing under a blanket on the couch,
bad movies and cheap beers,
dark stretching its wings earlier each day.
hot breath on cool skin and
flushed cheeks, tousled bangs,
steaming coffee in chipped china cups,
stoned boys and girls in a hundred-year-old attic,
a sleepy dog curled up among dust bunnies in the corner.
I didn’t know
yet how we would bend and break,
how we would
shout at one another,
throw things on the ground,
pull the car over,
slam the front door,
cry under the covers,
forget to listen,
forget what lies beneath.
I didn’t know.
it’s hard to remember those ugly nights
and the slow-motion days that followed.
I only remember you
sleeping in the waiting room,
eating pizza in bed when I was sure my dad
when my hands smelled like death
when the doctor asked about life support
when I didn’t breath for a month.
Those were the loneliest days of my life;
I still wake from ICU nightmares,
know every thread at the wrists of my black and white sweater,
can taste the salty tears running down my face for hours
while nurses peeked in and tried to comfort me.
These horrors will haunt me forever.
I thought those angry nights were the bleakest,
thought you could never understand me
thought you couldn’t love me
thought you missed the point
(youdid — andyet).
You were always there when I needed you most.
I didn’t know.
• Listening to the same album on repeat for my entire work shift.
• Installing and removing the same hard drive in a computer twice.
• A brisk one-mile walk during my 7:00 dinner break.
• Driving fast with loud music and the crisp evening breeze whipping through my hair.
• Eating a lot of potato salad and ice cream.
Nada. Some days, your mind and heart are determined to be in a funk and you can’t stop it. Even when you had a productive morning, wrote and shared some meaningful words, your team won the World Series, it’s 73 degrees in November, you’re on the cusp of being offered an opportunity you’ve wanted for ages, and you’re having a good hair day.
Some days you need to question if you’re still moving forward or if you’ve started sliding backward. Some days you need to admit that if you had one shot at Eternal Sunshining something, it would be last summer. Some days, you need to ask what ifs until you’re blue in the face — what if I get to where I’ve wanted to be, and I’m still empty? What if God isn’t listening, isn’t intimately involved? What if I made the wrong choice? What if I’m always too difficult to love? What if this brokenness never fades?
What if, what if, what if…?
We have a complicated relationship.
I’m not going to write any more words about it.
Because sometimes your parent is an alcoholic, and it can make your love feel very conditional. Or because sometimes you love a friend the wrong way. Or because sometimes a friend loves you the wrong way. Or because sometimes you’re so unsure of loving yourself that you question how you could possibly genuinely love anyone else. A thousand reasons.
Telling someone you love them isn’t always that simple.
‘There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.’
— F. Scott Fitzgerald