Once a week I wake up in the middle of a carnival. There are twinkle lights and dreams of elephants. A couple of times small bits of neon snuck out of their hiding spots to sing me to sleep. But I needed more than that. A clenched jaw and racing mind don't make a tired man. And still all those mornings I woke in that carnival. It used to still be dark; the sun not making any effort to get itself out of bed. Now the sun beats me to the punch. I heard it was to help the farmers. How? The sun still beats down on their crops and it still beats down on our souls. I lay beaten, exhausted, worn out but aware of her routine. Our routine. I shut off five alarms. One is actually a stand alone clock. It confuses parts of me they still exist. She climbs down from one carnival to another. I know if she will shower based on the numbers at the end of the stand alone clock. If she does I grab a bit more sleep and wait for the next step. Makeup. Or a hair appliance. Or scrubs. Or sneaky kisses on my sleeping forehead. I pretend to sleep but could draw from memory, with one eye, the curves highlighted by the matching underwear and her tendencies to stand on her toes. She says I keep her on her toes. She says it's good. Once or twice I've let her get to me and had to sneak out before the sun even had a plan to attack the east coast. I have no plan. I drink too much. I medicate too much. I worry too much. I lie too much. I fall to fast. I don't sleep enough. Not here at least. I've squeezed enough sand through my hands to know I can loose enough to build a beach. But I still keep one arm around her all night. If she slips away, I want to see it happen. I don't want miss it. Not again.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Your mother called tonight. I couldn't care to drag myself out of bed. So I just rolled my naked body over and answered the phone. These calls always start out the same. She is bragging about some party, some man, or some place she went with her friends. They used to be my friends. But now it's just me in some room with a box full of dishes she was supposed to take last Christmas and a bed I bought to forget her. There are pictures and postcards for her in some drawer; I keep them there so I have an excuse to see her. But I never take them. And she never asks for them.
I didn't mean to laugh when we decided to kill you. If you read this then we didn't. Maybe we had a change of heart. Maybe we didn't have enough money. Maybe we sold you to the highest bidder.
I don't even know why I am telling you this. You don't exist. Or you do. But I don't care.
Because yesterday I walked out of work and it smelled like summer. It smelled like last year when I spent nights with either a beautiful artist, a soul sucking mother figure, or someone else. It was calm, still, warm, happy; the things I hadn't been until recently.
So I sucked in the smell and remembered how it felt to be in love, in awe, and in the grip of drugs.
And today it was sucked back out of me. Someone spun circles and crashed into a wall and as I drove by I saw the clouds of smoke leave their car.
And I knew I would die. And you would die. And me, and your mother, and those other women, and her friends, and my coworkers, and every other relationship I worked on for so long, they would all die too.