I got used to texting him to no answer. I’d jot down my I miss yous on scraps of paper, roll them up, stuff them into empty beer bottles and send them bobbing into the waves. The lost island of unheard regrets. I could write a book on longing and package it in brown paper and twine but he would never open it. He’d shake it until all my carefully chosen words could no longer cling to the pages and would fall into a corner, the letters all tangled and broken.
He makes me nervous in my own skin, in my own space, in my own life and I stutter when I talk to myself and my hands shake when I place them on my temples or at the soft skin between my thighs. I wonder when my eyes will close and I will no longer see him there and I hope that tonight will be the night that my arm won’t reach across the bed and dive into the empty nest of pillows by my side, searching for him or the warm imprint his body has left behind, and come up empty & aching again.
I put my mask back on. I smooth my hair back and wear touches of makeup. I make an effort to be the girl I was before the sky fell in on me and I can see her there waiting patiently across the tracks. Look both ways before you cross, she says. Find someone to hold your hand.
A friend tells me she has guy friend that wants to meet me. She sends me his picture and he stares out at me half-smiling, this stranger. She says I need a distraction and a distraction that also makes his own furniture is something that the girl across the tracks would flirt with, seduce, and then maybe snap in half across her knee. I am not her, so I do nothing. I consider the idea of him as though I am drawing from the pile and adding a card to my hand. I wait for someone to ask me what I have, so I can throw them all down, fold, and try again. But, the question never comes. I wonder if I’m playing against myself and if that’s the case, how I can possibly win.
My memories are fading and I try to chase them, catch them like snowflakes on my tongue. I can’t remember how his voice sounds, anymore. But, I can recall the feeling of his short hair between my fingers while we drove. How we would always take our gloves off to hold hands and the hearts I would leave melted into the frost on his passenger side window.
My cold feet in the bend of his knees.
I build him up from torso to head, a snow man, and pray he comes to life… or at least melts swiftly, instead.
The Bird and the Bee – Carol of the Bells