This is all about you, my familiar semi-stranger. The way you work. The way you function. The way I feel after being in your space.
Notice the absence of the word we, for there is no we in either theory or action.
You are the slippage that accidently-on-purpose happens after one too many drinks; you are the prayer immediately following, the Hail-Mary petition to lower the price of such momentary carelessness.
You show up at closing time, the emotional equivalent of the revelatory vomiting that so often occurs in the closing seconds of any doctor’s appointment.
“Oh by the way…” Deliverance from the seat about to be vacated, from the doorway almost exited. “Oh by the way…”
…My heart stops beating every four seconds; I’ve been vomiting blood after each and every meal; I’ve been breaking down, curling into a ball and picking my skin until I bleed; I think he’s cheating; I think I’m cheating; I lost my job, my motivation, my mind…
Oh by the way…I love you, I hate you, I had a miscarriage, abortion, a violent moment whilst exiting the metro but don’t worry—I only bled for an hour.
Oh by the way I was standing in the street walking toward you away from me until I did an about-face and came home, which meant leaving the notion of home with you inside on the outside, our last several years locked inside, with our history and habits locked inside.
I went to the river and papa was right—the river is there.
And oh, by the way, I realized that sometimes shit is just shit and it needs to be wiped up and disposed of before it stains all that lies before us. Me, you, we…
And we leave it all to the final seconds before the door swings closed and a deal done is a done deal. You left it all to those final seconds when the walking away begins and the game of chicken ends. And oh by the way, we’ve left it all to be tripped over and bruised by; a threat to our routines but it is the threat that grows stagnant and not the routine.
And oh by the way I’m missing you as much as I’m missing me, as much as Tuesday misses Friday’s kiss, not because the days of the week actually matter but because we lined them up and gave them duties and then said that it did.
But it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
The body resolves that which is not mortal with time but the heart takes longer to heal; it is the most scarred-up muscle of all. And oh by the way, the scars that do not sing your name are merely making way for the tattoos that do…