March 30, 2015


(I am sentimental about old lovers, and I found this in a random folder, written about two years ago.)

How do I love thee, now that you are married to another, someone prettier, likely better, sweeter and just more "suitable" than me?
I do not know.

I pictured the wedding, blurred enough to stop me from getting blurry and I could see you, in a slick tux, smirking with the "I got her, I won!" look I have seen in your eyes before, back when it was for me, back Then.

Why didn't you tell me about her?

Did you tell her about me?

No, no, I mean, forget I asked. That ride was just so complicated and messed-up and unstable, but this new one, well, it's for life, for the distance. Forever. You and Her, her, her. Think of the sheer eternity of it in this entire universe and everything. Forever, you are married to her. You can get divorced, sweetie (remember when I thought that it was too generic a word when you called me that), but you can never unmarry. Unmarry, underlined in unforgiving curly red spellcheck lines. Well, unmarry, whatever fortune it may bring, is not a word, it is imaginary.

You have the much-made-of photo albums that are literally art, and the free Facebook adulation, of which my best friends have pledged their sanity they will never talk about. We have all learned to pretend pretty well that when shit hits the fan, it was probably just milk chocolate.

I think of the trip to start a new life in another country. I heard you left. I mean, I heard you went further away.

I almost feel the pressure of your hands holding each other as the plane takes off to this awesome big capital city where you have this great job that is relaxed, sometimes challenging but also very paid, so it's all great! I heard that you both live in style, even in, you handsome dog, modest luxury!

You are alive and I am too, in different beds but mine is empty and there is a frog in my toilet bowl in my little room in this little hospital where they pay me exactly one-tenth of what you make, far from the cities and where only 2G works. Remember 2G, where trying to browse the Internet is like picking up a heavy dictionary with a pencil?
And the electricity goes off, sometimes for eight hours a day, and I just lay here on this tiny cot, naked and sweating and quiet.

There is ash on the floor, about a whole month's worth, and I keep buying underwear in town so I don't have to handwash the growing mound in the corner of my eye, bundled at a precautious angle on a broken chair.

No, I do not love you but I am tired now, and like after a chronic, debilitating illness, I will never be who I was exactly before; the sassy, wide-eyed fool who told you Enchanted was her favorite movie because "it contains so much real life". I'll be a little softer, sadly tamer and uncomfortably, shrewder.

My love may never again be a geyser of hormonal fog but I think maybe in time, I could manage a little, steady stream.