I seem to have a knack for encouraging otherwise stable and sane men to drive great distances only to be served up with a healthy portion of disappointment. They keep driving and I keep slamming a No Vacancy sign in the window. Every step they take towards me forces me two steps back. I loathe to be touched; shrinking away from every sign of affection, every kind word or loaded look.
We spend the drive from the theater to my place talking about the end of this, the reasons why. My reasons. My issues, rather. When I leave the car he follows for the hug goodbye. The hug goodbye that turns into that hug, the other hug, and then another hug goodbye. He has a rower’s arms and they fit so perfectly around me. My head finds a nook by his neck. It would be easy to turn the goodbye hug into a goodbye kiss, it would only take a tilt of the head and a look up, but I don’t. I am the Queen of Snap Decisions and this one was made when the vibrations of his condescending tone reached the inside of my ear. When icy fingers crawled up my spine and his face morphed into that of another. I no longer have the energy to smooth out the creases, to make this house a home.
I spend my Saturday night on the phone with a friend, instead. We laugh at the other’s misfortune until we both grow quiet with loaded silence. The things we do to ourselves. The puzzles we can’t solve. The mountains we can’t move. The chances we refuse to take. When we hang up I make another cup of tea, I eat another apple, I sit staring at the darkened screen of the television. Then I put my headphones on, turn the music up and dance. I shimmy. I grind my hips. I take it low. I switch to the robot until I’m out of breath and laughing at myself. I dance it out, this hole in my chest where a heart should be.
I dance. I dance and I dance. I dance until I’m red and sweating and it doesn’t seem to help much, but it sure beats crying.
The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition