Because I remember your eyes just like that; a near desperate searching. And me with no answers. And how I always felt like a learning experience. You summer tanned and covered in dust, a dusk skin. Touchable you tasted like drywall. Dreadlocks that drip with sweat and the entertainment of philosophy. The reminder of winter on your lips and how we used to hold hands while I was driving. Why separation always felt imminent and unavoidable. The prospect of years.
How naive tongues slide around the word love.
That night in the basement. On the carpet. Slick skin sliding and lips like sugar. We knew your brother was listening at the door. You can’t stop immortal moments.
Because we grew together as the feared reflections of our parents. I knew every trick to make you angry. And we were really children playing house.
I still remember that scar on your stomach. Between two ribs. I remember the every textured indent of your lips, from every season. I remember all three of your smiles and exactly how to elicit them. I studied you. For 39,420 hours, I was an expert in you nearly four times over. I could trace the exact shape of your feet, wide and rounded at the edges. I remember exactly where my hand felt best tangled in your mess of hair with your lips parted just like that. I was constant state of dissembling discomposure.
I could see the future in your eyes. Crystal.
I still can’t pinpoint when the touch turned sour, rancid really. We had fermented, drunk on banality. And sometime around the time I noticed another set of dimples. And while I worshipped the dimples at your lower back, right above your perfect ass, I thought of all the other dimples to admire in the world. I hadn’t stopped loving you, but I needed you to justify removing me, like the burning out of a disease. I never stopped loving you, I was possessed with this case of wanderlust.
The night you stopped breathing for a full minute, twice, and portented death in drunken ramblings, still infects my nightmares. I wanted to hold you. I wanted to kiss every millimeter of your body and tell you that everything was going to be alright, that we could put everything back together, a puzzle, if only you would stay alive. But I didn’t because I knew I couldn’t. We had long since lost so many pieces. And you lived anyway.
We sobbed together when I left.
Because humans can’t grow backwards. Because the universe is expansive and never-ending. Because potential should never be denied. Because I have this theory that you have to lose everything before you can begin to appreciate anything.
I still mourn you sometimes. In dawn hours, and when it rains. Like an amputee’s ghost limb. Like a shadow cast by clouds on a sunny day. You still have this little bit of me that I never asked you to return. I didn’t want you to. Because some moments should remain immortal, despite the passage of time.
Some people say love dies. I don’t think that’s how it works. It transforms and modifies to its surroundings. It seeks new ways to push you into being that person you always sought to be. When one form reaches its culmination and maximum effect, it comes in new, unfamiliar and refitted forms to show you more about yourself. Love has always been a selfish act, the most participatory selfish act. And you must remember to thank and consider every form it comes in. For, without it, you could never stand confident in the light of day as this person today. You could never hold credit for the “who” behind your “I”.
So thank you. I’m glad I am who I am.