I am an addict. Chills run through my body in want of endorphins. My mouth is dry. Sitting here, knees to chest, I lean my cheek against bone and swallow back nervous fear. A hand that shakes quietly as I type. I am an addict. I am an addict and the drug is love.
I am no good for anyone. I am in repair, reconstructing my heart from the bits and pieces he left behind. The work is tedious and I lose interest more than once. Bringing myself together, arranging myself into a cohesive whole, it’s a journey that spans lifetimes. I should be focusing on finding myself in the patterns on the wall. I should be growing accustomed to the sound of silence, the rise and fall of my own chest. Falling in love with my reflected smile in a darkened store window or the jokes I crack to strangers as they prepare my coffee. Holding my own hand late on Sunday mornings, the comic section in pieces across the bed. Kiss the soft skin of my shoulder, just because.
Still, just when I think I am making progress, I have a day like yesterday. Yesterday everything seemed to fall into place. We laughed and we shared the same taste in music. We never lacked for something to talk about. We drank Mexican beer over tacos, chips and salsa in a little neighbourhood that felt like living in a gallery surrounded by art. The sun beat on my back and pearls of sweat gathered in picnics on his brow and I strained to see his green eyes behind the shade. I balanced a quarter on his forearm and he laid one rest on the fleshy skin of my hand between thumb and pointer-finger. Our knees brushed against each other under the table and when a black Labrador Retriever found our little table in the corner we scratched it’s grinning head until it covered both our hands in slobbery kisses. Saliva high-fives!
Driving home I slipped Dispatch into his cd player and cross-legged in the passenger seat I drummed out the beat on my shins. I stole tiny glances at him out of the corner of my eye and laughed heartily as he spewed road rage onto the blacktop before him.
“Sorry. I’m kind of an asshole.”
“I think that might be one of the main things I like about you,” a pause. “So what does that say about me?”
A smile spreading deep into his cheeks.
Arriving home he followed me upstairs and used three remotes to maneuver the dvd into submission. We watched Eastbound & Down and nerded it out on my tiny computer. There was a moment, sitting by his feet, both leaning over the screen, when I turned my head to ask him something and he was so close. I could almost feel his hot breathe on my skin. Almost feel fingers tangled in hair. Almost see our bodies sweat glistened against sheets. My heart jumped into my throat and the moment passed and we turned back to the T.V.
So much the better. It’s friendship that I need. Friendship that my body is screaming out for in the loneliness of this big city. He offers it up willingly. Still, my brain is an addict’s brain and these lips are an addict’s lips. I push down the tumbling in my gut and I repeat a mantra in my head and when he hugs me goodbye I try to remain satisfied with the sobriety of this love life. And I am. I think that I am.
The Little Ones – Lovers Who Uncover