I remember the beginning and I remember the end- but the middle is all muddled, a glass smudged with greasy finger marks frustrating me from seeing anything clearly. Did we ever go on a holiday together? Were we happy? Did we rage against each other? Did we lay like lovers do for hours drawing dream futures in our minds? Or did we know everything was finite with borders defined by how fucked up we were?
I had blond hair when we met. You were drunk and kept mentioning my eyes. Now you say I was wonderful. Was I? I don't remember it that way. The second time we met my hair was black. I'd been searching for someone else that blond night, but there you were and I always welcomed relief- chemical; physical- I didn't mind.
You've mentioned things I can't remember and I wonder what your pictures look like. If you let me see, maybe I'll know me a bit better. You wrote of coffee and a blue bean crusher pushes to the front. I can't quite get its meaning. I see it but nothing else. I know I loved you once, though.
I know it.
You're on my list when I make a tally.
I remember you said it was over and the words sliced bloody pieces from my insides; they echoed on and on and I couldn't get away from them so I ran as far as I could. I still dripped blood on the hot sand of my new home for a few days after arriving. I ran hoping distance would fix me and against sense it did in a way, at least it patched the worst bits. Distance stopped my body from aching for you- futile so far away- and time eventually stopped the tears too.
But I loved you -didn't I?
We cried at the airport that day one of my lives, the third one, ended and a new one began. You cried and I fumed because for a week I waited in that dying city on the Lake hoping you'd say "Never mind, I didn't mean it", that you'd say "Don't go- stay" -but you didn't.
So we cried at the airport.
Too late- but oh so safe.
You are sorted out. And now you are sane. And I don't know you, you say. I would not recognise you in your new dress in hues of sensible sanity, you tell me. You have many plans and passions. You're a different person than the one I knew. You tell me.
I'm not any saner. I'll say it first to avoid awkwardness. And you'll know me in a crowd. You'll smell the familiar about me, even through the long distance connections under oceans and through the packed heavy ground of continents. Looking at each other through computer screens. You'll know me.
Despite cursory inventories, I've not travelled very far in my head.
It is only that I've found comfort in my instability. I imagine your strict instructions would find that unacceptable. Not the right way to live for responsible adults.
And I've lied.
I knew where you were all along, only I wasn't sure if I wanted to discover you again.
I'm still not- but I did and here we are.
I guess finding the end of stories is part of my job description now.