Mistakes & Goodbyes

In the throes. The clock blinks red, reset. I don’t know what time it is, but I know it’s late. He is kissing me. He stops and then his hands are fumbling with buttons and straps as I weigh the pros and cons in my head. Staying here, what I will take with me from the experience and what I will lose. The passion is gone, if it were ever there to begin with, I don’t know anymore. I am going through the motions and hoping it will all be over soon. I let my head fall to the right and stare at the wall in the dark with the glow from the computer everything looks ghoulish. This isn’t a peeling off of clothes the way I have imagined it. There is no romance here; he strips me and I am bare boned and cold. He calls me beautiful and I don’t believe him. He calls me sexy and I don’t feel it. I squeeze my eyes shut when he enters me and picture a silent home on a hill. Torn open, family heirlooms broken and discarded. Pieces judged and taken. Lives reduced to the worth of silver and gold and everything else, ruined. I don’t want to be that house when its family comes home.

He is panting now and he strokes my hair, the same gesture that I craved in a different bed, makes me hate him here in his own. I bite my lip and taste blood. Iron and the aftertaste of pear cider. I imagine you miles away in your own bed. I imagine myself, slipping in unnoticed, curling my body against your back and filling in the cracks. The beginning of a story and the ending of another. Suddenly, I don’t want to be here with a strength that scares me. I push him off me, hard. 

“Shit! Jesus, Lindsay, what is it?”

I creep backwards from him. An animal trapped, looking for escape. Claws bared, muscles tensed. 

“Are you OK?”

I can’t answer him, yet. I find my clothes littered on the floor in his haste. I feel panic rising in my chest and I need air, I can’t breathe in here. 

“I’m sorry. I have to go. I’m sorry.” I keep apologizing as I collect myself. I apologize as I button my jeans. I apologize as I find my shirt inside out and right it. I apologize as I bend on hands and knees reaching for my purse that has slid underneath the bed. I am still apologizing, like a mantra, long after the word has lost meaning. I want to stop but I can’t close my mouth, I can’t see beyond my eyelashes, I can’t hear him over the pounding of my heart. 

I stop. For a long time I just stare at him, memorizing his features, fully aware this may be the last I ever see of him. Wanting to burn the image on my retinas, wanting to imprint this feeling, wanting to remember, later, that I tried it, I tasted it, and it wasn’t for me. My favourite mistake, as Sheryl Crow might say. But, then, I don’t think this is what she had in mind, either.

“I can’t do this.” I tell him. Bluntly. Faintly.

“I thought you might say something like that.”

“I thought I could do it. I thought I could be this girl. But, I can’t. It isn’t me. I don’t want it to be me.”

He sighs audibly and leans back, eyes closed. I don’t want to feel guilty for this good decision. But, right now I can’t help it, I am.

I walk over and linger by the side of the bed. I let my finger trace the curve of his lips and the crest of his brow. I thought I would find answers here in the nook between shoulder and neck. I was wrong. I searched and came up empty handed, far more empty than before. I want to ask him how he did it. How he got me here, again. But, I know the answer doesn’t really matter anymore. It is nearing morning and I am already gone.

“Goodbye, P.” I tell him softly and head for the door.

“Goodbye, Lindsay.” His voice is hesitant in disbelief. I pull the door shut behind me and scramble for my shoes. I leave the straps undone. I am already texting you as I fumble with the locks and then I am in the hallway of his building, racing for home.

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12 thoughts on “Mistakes & Goodbyes”

  1. I think the first paragraph might be your best yet… or worst yet… I don’t know! Visceral and evocative, at least.

    I love the stories, but I fear I may never be able to piece them together into a sensible chronology. I assume that’s intended, though…

    02:12am

    1. Worst yet?

      They aren’t so much stories as my real life events in story form. So you are reading as it happens. Unless, otherwise stated.

      What is 2:12am for you?

      1. That’s what I meant… I would call them fantasy, if I thought they weren’t real!

        02:12 was when I pressed ‘submit’. I’ve always thought that was a funny word; like I’m capitulating to the will of a button

    1. I just saw! I am humbled! And totally stoked! Zombie Chickens… my worst fear. Thank you, love.

  2. I really love the way you write… flowing seamlessly between what is happening and what you are thinking. And very honest.

    You know, after such an entry, this is going to seem really lame… but I just watched “Stranger than Fiction” and you kind of remind me of Ana in that movie. Her character is so raw, vulnerable, but strong at the same time… I’m assuming you’ve seen it since we were just talking about Maggie the other day!

    1. Oh. Wow. You just give me the best compliment ever. Me? Ana? That is only the fictional character I would most like to be! Also, I would probably just hang out at home being in love with myself if that were the case. The scene where Will watches Maggie baking and she’s all in slow mo sweaty and natural? Holy.

      Sorry. Getting a little ahead of myself there.
      But thanks. Also, one of my all time favourite movies. But, I bet you could have guessed that.

      1. Yes, I know the scene. Amazing. AMAZING!

        I was writing a blog post about being like her today… well, being a baker anyway… and I almost got even more carried away than you did! I think, watching that movie, we all either want to be like her, or we just WANT her… or both… I really can’t decide.

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