While I Still Miss You

Wake up.

 

Swollen eyes I can hardly open.

 

Too-happy jingling of my phone alarm telling me that I’m a lazy piece of shit.

 

Alright. Yes, I know, thank you.

Rolling over, hit Dismiss.

 

Staring at my phone now, a sleepy blue face.

Slits for eyes.

 

Facebook.

Instagram.

Snapchat.

Facebook.

 

Roll back over, onto the pillow.

 

Wake up.

 

Okay, I know, I’m working on it.

Rub my eyes.

Lying there, watching the ceiling fan spin cold shadows around my room.

 

Weren’t you here last night?

In my bed?

 

Or was that just a dream.

A hazy memory now.

 

Wake up.

 

Alright, I’m going.

Throwing the covers off.

Standing up, finally.

Barely.

 

Dream or not.

 

Wobbling down the stairs.

Late already.

 

It’s always harder to get out of bed.

 

Jesus, I need coffee.

 

When your sleepy smile and cigarette hair is still tangled in my sheets.

 

 

“nothing, pure nothing, in the middle of the day” – Variation of Rita Dove’s “Daystar”

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She wanted a little baby for company:

But she saw the answer in his eyes,

Like a load of laundry souring in the wash.

So she went out back into the yard

To confide in the squirrels.

 

Sometimes there were things to watch –

The solidarity of working ants,

A new family of magnolia buds.

Other days she closed her eyes

And tried to forgive

The commiserating song of the mourning dove.

 

She had hours before he would appear

Annoyed from inside the doorway.

And what exactly was she doing

Out back by herself again? Just

Female trivialities.

 

That night in bed she watched him

From across a thousand lukewarm seas

And thought of this place that was his

Month after month – Where

She was nothing,

Pure nothing,

In the middle of the day.

Remember

stony-rose-1224766

 

Any time I don’t know where to go, I end up here.

With you.

The way I always used to run to you,

Remember?

I wonder just how much of me is still you.

How much of me is cold, buried in the dirt.

Listening to nothing but the trains screaming when it gets dark.

Cigarettes.

The first between my teeth, the second behind my ear.

The way you used to do it,

Remember?

We were just kids then.

Nothing but dirt and dead grass now.

Flame. Smoke.

Inhale.

“I still think about you.”

Exhale.

Cold marble under my hand.

“It used to not scare me – coming out here like this. Now it does.

Guess I got scared of dying

Somewhere along the way.”

Inhale.

Cigarette burning out in my mouth, the other unlit between my fingers.

“I guess you don’t need this anymore.”

Exhale.

Tuck it back behind my ear.

The wind howling, tangled up in stone.

In other people’s friends, someone else’s lover. Someone else’s life.

The way I used to dream about ours together,

Remember?

“I wish you were here.”

Trying still not to think about how you always will be.

How you never made it out of this town.

The way you always said you would.

Remember?

 

Hungry

 

quality meats

photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha via Unsplash

The sharp click of her pumps was dulled by the wet pavement, consumed by the soggy concrete walls of the surrounding buildings.

Her reflection followed her in the shop windows as she walked, illuminated with red neon glow from the signs overhead.

In the darkness, his stomach growled. “Yes,” he thought. “She will do.”

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Afterwards

cigarette-1545005

Sex.

 

Lying here.

 

Lighter. Flame. Smoke.

My head on his chest.

 

“I would be a good mom.”

 

“Hey. You don’t have to think about that right now. Gonna drive yourself crazy.”

 

A picture on the wall. Sailboat. Waves.

 

“I know, I’m just saying…

 

 

I would be.”

 

A storm? No land in view. Just grey. Metal.

 

“I know you would be.”

 

Inhale. Paper burning, crackling.

Smoke.

Out.

 

Lying here.

 

 

Trailer house ceiling, white and plastic.

Skinny brown beams running across it, trying to hold it up.

Trying to run away.

 

Running across my memory and I’m at my aunt’s house lying in bed with my sister.

Looking over at you and you’re him.

Snorting fast heartbeats and chattering lips into my brain.

 

You smell like him.

 

This smells like her.

 

It smells like something I can’t put into words. Never enough words for all the things that I feel.

Never enough for all the leftover memories that I don’t know what to do with.

 

 

“What are you thinking about?”

 

“Nothing.”

 

 

Too much.

Explanation

I can’t explain the things that I feel.

A panic that has made its home in me. Like I’m not supposed to be here, like I’m running out of time. There’s so much I want to see, want to do. I’m terrified I won’t ever get to experience any of it. I have such a longing, a desperate and painful desire to just GO.

To DO.

To FEEL.

It’s like God built me with skin and bones and blood and a heart. And then, somewhere in the middle of all of it, He put this excitement in me. Built in, programmed in, burned deep inside of my soul, wetting my insides with blue flame, scorching my brain and my heart. This unquenchable, untreatable, untamable Adventure. This thing. This wonderful, hungry animal in my soul that is constantly clawing and struggling inside of me, twisting and contorting to fit the shape of my arteries, ripping through my veins, sending electric heat to every part of my body. I can hear it groan sometimes from inside the confines of my bending rib cage, barred in.

I don’t understand it. I know what it wants, but I don’t know how to give it what it needs. And the longer I go without feeding it, the more savage it becomes. Incomprehensible hunger. Gnawing and gnashing, grinding its teeth on my very being, on who I am, making my bones shake in their muscles.

The only time this yearning is at peace is when I am living. And I mean truly living. Fucking living. Whoever said that life is in the little moments was obviously not built with the Adventure inside of them. A lot of people aren’t.

It’s the difference between hopping the fence or turning back because the gate is locked. Between looking down that long, dark dirt road, having no idea where it leads, hearing nothing but the Texas woods, smelling only dirt and still deciding to walk into that uncertainty because that’s exactly what you’re looking for, isn’t it? In a life so predictably heart breaking. That is exactly what you are looking for – uncertainty, expectation, excitement, life… Because, really, what is life without the possibility of death.

It’s the difference between choosing that dusty road or choosing to turn around and walk back to your car because you would rather be safe than sorry. The difference between “fuck yes” and “fuck that.”

It is staring out into the clouds at 10,000 feet and, terrified, rolling out of the plane and into the blue. Spreading your arms wide. Your entire body, your entire being, your entire life filled with nothing but wind. And knowing that whatever happened to you, all the terrible things you’ve done in your life, every horrible thing that has happened to you up to this point, no matter how fucked up, was really all okay, all worth it somehow. Because in life’s strange way, all of those things ended up working perfectly together to get you right here in the middle of these clouds. Just another piece of the sky, another ray of sunlight.

I can’t explain the things that I feel.

I’m not searching for my time to shine, for my moment in the sun. I’m searching for my chance to BE the sun. To BE the wind.

To see and taste and feel all the things that they do.