Of all the things that might have been, the one I regret the most is never having gotten to know you.
I know vague generalizations. Your looks, your overly loud and opinionated self -- the persona you wear like as both a mask and shield.
But what lies(more) beneath? I have caught only glimpses, and they fascinate me.
Soft moments of curiosity, of questions without the tone of impending judgement, and looks that almost make me believe, that to you, I am not just a paper cut-out of a person, only there to listen, and easily replaceable by anybody else.
Maybe someday I should really call you out on what you keep offering.
By 'really call out', I mean match you with an action corresponding to your words. I've been too kind, and question you with words, or with looks, to which you seem to wake up and(more) skitter away before the status quo actually changes one way or the other.
It is my way of asking you if you really want what you say you want, to which the answer has always been a resounding "NO".
Or a repeated "go home," which makes me wonder if you're just afraid of being rejected, or of actually getting what you want.
Who knows, at this point?
I certainly don't.
But maybe next time, I'll call you out with a kiss. Whatever you're asking for starts from there and goes down(up?)hill.
We'll duke it out properly, no holds barred, as we do for everything else but this. (less)
it feels like a
writhing, weaving its way
around my body,
beginning at my gut --
(more) I feel the wrongness bloom
and then harden, turning to stone, weighing
me down, but its tendrils
still work their way through me,
burning all the way.
the more I try to follow you, the farther
you go, and
the farther I feel from myself,
the deeper the wrongness burrows
the more I know I am
going nowhere good.
my feet are raw from walking
but yours are untouched.
I see this, and pause
wondering if I am cheating myself. (less)
As much as I want to, I can't bear to look you in the eye.
We're still sitting at the table, as we have been for the last couple of hours, talking. It's going well, save for the awkward tension that has slowly been wrapping itself around us.(more)
Or maybe it's the look I've been noticing in your eyes on the occasion that I do look -- the one that makes me feel like you want to devour me (in what sense, I do not know. . .)
It's too much for me to bare, and makes my skin feel too tight and warm. I check every once in a while to see if you're still wearing that look, and turn away as though burned, each time.
Before long, we've left the restaurant, and it's time to make our goodbyes. You pull me towards yourself, enveloping me in an embrace. I am still dazed from your intense look, and the not quite raspy voice you use to ask me for a hug.
That, combined with your divine scent has me just barely leaning towards you, wanting to just stay there for as long as possible, and I panic when I realize what I'm thinking.
I draw back, but you don't release me from the hug. I look at you, finally making eye-contact, and inhale deeply.
Something about my internal conflict -- or maybe the fact that I'm reciprocating that look you've been giving me all night -- finally makes you release me, but I don't move.
You don't turn to leave, either, and now we are at a standstill. (less)
and followed, and followed; I leaned forward -- that solitary note had curled itself around me, and was tugging at my edges, beckoning; promising a story.
As the silence lengthened, the stronger that note had wrapped itself around me, squeezing me. This couldn't be it, could it? I sat on the edge of my seat, as though my getting closer to the guitar would somehow coax another note out of it.
Then -- creeping out of the silence, a string of notes arose, steadily announcing the introduction of the piece.
I let go of the breath I did not realize I was holding, and slid back into my chair, letting the music sweep over me. (less)
Your raised shoulders, narrowed eyes, and slight frown all say the opposite.
I inhale -- do I want to stay silent, as is the norm, or do I want to push for answers? Trying to get honest answers from you when it comes to yourself i(more)s like pulling teeth -- but you'll talk about anything else, given the slightest provocation. Strange.
I lean against the wall, cocking my head as if to say 'Oh, really?' I'll be trying my luck today.
"I'm fine," you insist. You look even more harried -- how dare I not accept your bald-faced lies? You make a shooing gesture with your arms, like you can cause me and my unwanted (?) concern to dissipate with a simple gesture.
I narrow my eyes at you, and hold your gaze long enough to let you know that I don't buy what you're saying.
With a nod, I turn around and wave good-bye, walking out into the night. If you won't tell me, I won't make you spell it out, but I won't stay around to listen to you lying -- to me or yourself -- any longer than I have to, either. (less)
I can't help but to keep moving forward, no matter how bleak the situation, no matter how unlikely a satisfactory end is.
I am always there, silent but present, and perhaps underestimated and unnoticed by and large. I see no need for theatrics, for grand (but ultimately empty)(more) words. I will simply be -- even if that means sometimes coming in to work on Saturdays for an extra couple of hours to offer my aid, or staying off the clock in the rare case of emergency to offer my silent support -- even f it is without thanks, or appreciation.
Which it often is, but I am there to offer succor for the sake of it, not to hold it over someone's head for forced gratitude or recompense. Knowing that I may have lifted some strain, --however little -- off of your shoulders is more than enough.
But there is only so much one can do while functioning in the shadows, and there is only so much solace to be found in the dark.
Without even the barest acknowledgment, I do not know if what I do makes a difference. (If there is no reaction at all, how do I know my presence has an impact at all, for better or worse? Perhaps it has none at all.) Slowly, I will drift away.
I am here, then gone, without anyone being the wiser. (less)
I gave myself willingly -- jumped into 'us', into 'you' -- and paid the price.
It wasn't enthusiasm and joy, but desperation and misery; the need to be loved by somebody or anybody to the point where I would take the least that you had offered and treated(more) it as the best I had ever gotten.
It was true for a while, but as always, I started to question things as soon as the euphoria wore off. I noticed myself giving and giving and giving and then eventually getting tired when I finally noticed the diminishing returns.
At this point, giving started to drain me, and what once gave me hope brought me only despair.
When I no longer had anything left to give, I left.
Wandering again, lonely and empty, bereft of human company, I drifted far and wide.
During my travels, I found bits and pieces of things that were useful or interesting, and started to rebuild myself. It was slow going, and it is still going -- I exist in patchwork form, constantly being built up and swapping out older parts for ones that fit better for the time being. It is easier to let go now, to watch things as they happen in the moment, and enjoy them while they last.
But this hunger for acceptance -- for love and companionship and being taken as I am -- still exists as a low thrum in the back of my mind, occasionally threatening to overwhelm me. It feels like a wildfire waiting to happen, bunches of bone-dry branches waiting for the slightest spark to ignite them.
I fear it will one day consume me, and I will merrily burn to ashes, dancing amongst the flames.
For every attempt I make to move forward, I feel something of equal and opposite force holding me back -- never more nor less than what I put out, but exactly equal.
At first, I ignored the feeling, and trie(more)d to carry on with whatever it is that I thought I should be doing, but the more I ignore that tug at my chest, the more insistent it becomes.
Stronger and stronger does the tugging beckon me away from my path, and it's gotten so loud that I can't help but stop whatever it is I am doing.
I sit for a bit and try to figure out what exactly is it that I'm meant to do, but it's not easy to hear the answer. All I know is that I've got to get out of the house before I suffocate.
So I go. Where to, I don't know -- strange how it's so easy to listen to others, but so difficult to hear my own thoughts. (Perhaps I'm in denial about something? Or maybe it's not the right time to find out the answer. I like adventures, but not thrillers, and the lack of knowing what this is all about is keeping me on tenterhooks.)
For the love of all that's good and holy, I wish that something would just happen so I could deal with it stride and get on with my life, sans this anxiousness speeding through my veins.
Whatever is causing it has got me bound to the ground 'til it happens. (less)
I'm curled up on your couch on a Tuesday night, two pillows underneath my head, and a blanket pulled up so high all you can see are my eyes. The glasses sitting askew on my face are the cherry on top. I burrow deeper into the couch with a(more) sigh of contentment.
We're watching movies tonight -- you're rocking back and forth on your chair, and it takes you a while to settle in. Neither of us speaks much, but the silence is companionable, and I feel myself starting to relax for the first time in weeks.
Halfway through the second movie, I can no longer ignore the smell of you that pervades the room, and it brings such a sense of profound peace that it's difficult not to just fall asleep -- the first time I'd be able to easily do so in a long time.
But, this is not the place nor the time, and so I stay awake. The end of the movie arrives too soon, and it is late. You start getting ready for bed, but excruciatingly slowly, and I get the feeling you don't want me to go, but you choose not to break the silence. I don't either.
I finish putting away the blankets and pillows I've borrowed, don my shoes and purse, and give you my thanks for a lovely evening.
The best part is when you walk me to the door and give me a hug goodbye. It seems to last ages, and be done all too soon, but I don't think I'll ever forget the affection in your eyes.
I silence the whispered wishes of my heart -- if only this was my place to be! -- and carry this peace in me all the way home. (less)
I've clearly committed some sort of faux pas if the glare you're giving me is any hint.
I shrug it off and smile at you, and toss a small wave in for good measure, but to no avail -- you're still glaring determinedly at me.
I w(more)as walking briskly towards you, but I slow down considerably, wondering if it is safe to approach. You've never been a morning person, and today you look ready to tear my head off for anything more engaging than breathing in the same room.
I mutter a soft "Good morning, Sunshine," as I walk past you to my desk -- something about you always compels me to push my luck -- and I hear you snort behind me.
None-the-less, I hear you snap out a brisk greeting in response -- delayed as it was -- and figure whatever it is that I've done isn't too terribly serious if you're still talking to me.
I smile to myself, knowing you'll be just fine after a coffee or two. (less)