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where we used to laugh

3 Jan

I think of him sometimes. On my way to work in the morning, halfway there and there’s still dew on my side mirrors, but I see a flash of white, the color of his car, the color of the sheets flowing in my face on the highway in my dream where we’re laughing together. A Third Eye Blind song came on the radio and it wasn’t Jumper, so I turned up the volume and allowed myself a thought of him, a sort of strange exercise in love or forgiveness or still just actually plain and angry. Then, if he had to choose, when he had to choose, they were his favorite band, and I was always so wishy-washy with mine, obligated to a few for the times we met when I was fifteen and close to tears on the city bus. I can’t remember who I was when he picked me up after class for pasta at his apartment. I can’t remember picking feathers out of his couch without his quiet voice, his hands on my knees, touching my arms, trying to be reasonable, urging me to just say what he wants me to say so we don’t have to fight anymore. I think of that sometimes. And it makes me mad. And I’m afraid I like being angry, that I think it makes me interesting, and that I’m holding onto it so one day it’ll be good enough reason for me to have done whatever awful thing I might have done. If I could erase him completely, I’d forget that he wrote me letters, that I cut them up to be burned. I’d forget I said he looked like a boyfriend in those sunglasses. That I stared sometimes trying to find a husband in his face, that it came and went but I always said it was there, wanted then to believe it was really always there. I’d forget that he never wanted a cat or to go to church until later. That I wanted space. A lot of space. That he hated the eighth track on my favorite album, and it wasn’t my favorite song, but it became my favorite then. That he wanted a daughter named Lauren, and I couldn’t think of a name I liked less. I’d forget that we were close once, that the small cluster of pictures on the internet of he and I together were real, they actually happened and didn’t always make me feel so separated from myself and God and my life now. It starts as a song, a quiet song on the radio on the way to work, and I think of something to say about him, something different, something good maybe, and I remember as I type that all the good parts are gone and I’m just blowing on the coals, tossing pieces of his letters in the pit and waiting for a fire. I think of him sometimes, but it’s hardly ever good.

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One Response to “where we used to laugh”

  1. celiatillet January 4, 2014 at 4:06 am #

    So true to life. I’ll be thinking about this for a long time.

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