So Easily Erased

I let my room grow messy. Clothes empty themselves from the closet and arrange themselves in piles on my carpet like raked leaves. I pick out a shirt, inhale, shrug, and pull it over my head. I finger comb my unwashed hair into a high ponytail and don’t really bother with makeup. I throw out my contacts and slide my glasses up my nose. I hide my neck in several turns of a wool scarf and climb into my red pea-coat, snapping my earphones into place and turning up the volume on my ipod. I practice avoiding eye contact on the street and admire the passing shoes of strangers. I’m invisible, now. I am unseen. A passing thought. An unimportant piece of the scenery that your mind blurs over and forgets. So easily erased.

I let the crazy out. I let it unfold and struggle out of its tiny compartment in my mind in all its long limbed and double-jointed glory. No bird of prey here; just one more masochist. It juggled nagging thoughts and painful obsessions in my brain and when I thought I was strong enough, I found that I was not. So, I looked.

They’ve moved in together.

They’re in love.

She has claimed my dog as her own.

He is all the things I asked him to be, but with her now, instead.

Each revelation is a soaring bird struck dead in the sky.

I am thigh deep in wet snow and black birds, peering into a warm house, watching the life I wanted open presents happily beneath an evergreen. My smiles blinking with the lights. My cocoa trailing steam from cup to mouth. Those are my marshmallows  melting in her hand painted mug. I hope she recognizes the difference between homemade and store-bought. I hope she realizes a hand has been molding the sweetness here. Even if there is no trace left. Even if the memory of the making is gone. Erased.

I pop painkillers to stop the sobbing. The chest convulsions and the pathetic hiccuping I watch floating above myself, looking down. When the numbness hits I gather up the pictures I’d been saving. I run a bath and while I wait for the bubbles I take a lighter to the edge of our faces. The glossy paper feeds the flame and I wait for the last moment—I wait until my fingers burn—then I drop it into the toilet and flush the ashes down.

Just like that. So easily erased.


10 thoughts on “So Easily Erased”

  1. That hardly seems easy to me, and I’m willing to bet that it wasn’t as easy as it looks for him.

    Regardless of that, the “loss” of your future with him does not equate to the loss of your future. Those aren’t your presents, and it’s not your tree. Yours is somewhere else. You’ll catch up to it.

    Beautiful, as always. I couldn’t point something out if you asked me, but I could look over everything and say it’s your eye, the details you translate, that puts the reader where you want them to be, that makes this piece.

  2. Your future is something you make every moment of every day, not bound in bits of marshmallow fluff (sweet as they may be). You’ll build something far more vibrant for yourself, and what they have is as meaningless as the wind outside the home you’ll make.

    You may not be strong enough to juggle those obsessions, but you are uncommonly strong; plenty strong enough to let them go.

    (As an aside, your writing is fantastic. Have you considered writing a book?)

  3. I just love your poetic diction. Your posts are always such a treat in that regard.

    Very much agree with Eric and VoN above. Wring what you can out of the experience, apply it to life and your writing. But be careful not to create fanciful fictions for someone else. You really can’t know how easy or difficult ‘he’ finds things, or whether he’s even happy. But you can focus on making yourself happy.


  4. Oh, <3. I'm sorry you hurt, I'm sorry that it's crushing and painful and difficult. Chin up, hey. You'll find yourself, you'll find something whole, and happy. Just . . . you'll need to be somewhere not here before you can start looking. Hope you find the ways to move forward. Happy thoughts, hey.

  5. it’s a heartbreaking post, but its the raw aspect of it that makes it so great. Allow your heart to let him go so you can find the one who will guard your heart like the treasure it should be.

  6. gah this makes my heart hurt. very powerful writing… especially the dog bit. agh! i can relate. i think my heart would since–even just a little–to know someone else will replace me in that same way… but my life goes on. and it is worth it. i like feeling invisible. that’s why i like the city.

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