i do, i like you so much that i've sat here, disillusioned and borderline drunk, for about two hours trying to write something that will convince me that this night hasn't been a complete waste. somehow, between my mind and my fingers, the wires cross and it all gets jumbled and before i know it, the same four words blink at me from my computer screen.
The doorbell chime doesn't feel the same without her, music tastes sour and the dinner table feels
hollow. Is it possible to lose track of everything that came before? My eyes were opened and then suddenly shut. She had been in love before we even met with the idea of me. And I, I guess I had been waiting for her forever. She named my books, she gave a face to my art and that is why I did this. She hasn't walked into this apartment in six weeks. Six long weeks, six weeks of sitting and watching the static on the television. Six weeks of unbearable loneliness and the terrible waiting of the doorknob for her hand and I think all the appliances have started to miss her. Or maybe I've started to miss her. She is a passing smell, a fleeting draft in the room and a salt in my wounds. To say I've been miserable, to say I've been hoarding hope for her face would be the first truth I've spoken in these last weeks. To say I haven't prayed, to say I haven't begged, haven't become this inverted sense of myself would be the second truth I've spoken in these last months. She made a liar of me, she left a mess of me. If words could save me now, she'd be in my arms.
The streets run with children, parasites, rationed food and burning orange flags dangle from the peaks of the White House. My words are illegal but I've nothing to lose. I'm sure they'll be here shortly and I will soon disappear and honestly, I almost sympathize with them. I've done a very bad thing. But the thought that our love will be forgotten is the worst and in this madness, we found each other. The two stars, the double lines. Soulmates aren't meant to leave.
Maybe I could have lived, could have survived this absence of her if there had been an exact moment when I fucked up. An exact time stamp of when we had broken. But no, a thousand seconds of slow decline and for that, I must blame myself. It was not a stop-still but a drawn out sort of wanting and we cannot wait any longer.
I must touch on the good parts, the way her visage sticks to my memory, the way her presence is wallpapered to the inside of my mind. And I must tell you of the laughing, the countless hours of pure joy. I must tell you of the wanting and I must tell you of the immensity of desire and the cold bed. I must tell you of the decrees and legislature, watching like hawks and bleeding us. The response to too many mouths and new laws that sounded alright, at first. One. You only get one. Forever. One spouse, one chance, two children max. We never lasted that long and as unfortunate as my situation has become, I do not regret giving myself to her.
You must know my feelings. You do, right? Unless you are alone and I sincerely hope you are not because alone is such a horrible thing to be. I would know. See, when you love someone you imprint on them. Every moment of your past and future becomes that person. And when they leave, you are lost. You are forced to become new, to become one you've never been before. And I know what I've done was unforgivable but I really need someone to know. I need someone to know of the summer nights. I need someone to know we existed once. Overpopulation. There was just too many and we only get one chance. The sick are garbage, spared seven weeks for improvement and then put down like stray dogs. They were going to kill her, they were going to steal my dying sunshine away from me. They were going to inject the I.V. and pull the sheet over her head. I received a letter and they signed it 'our sincerest regrets,'.
She fell ill, obviously. Hospital rooms and surgeries and a tumor the size of a penny destroyed my darling. I want to believe that you'd have done the same, you would have taken her too. You would wheeled her out of the hospital lobby and taken her home. You would have carried her through your own doorway too. What I've done is treason, murder without the right permits and I will pay with my own life. I will pay for the endless afternoons and the color of her skin. I will pay for letting the love of my life die in my own arms. I'm sure they're coming now, I'm sure they will walk through my (our) door any second. I'm sure I will perish.
In my last 15 minutes I want to tell you about the books in the bottom drawer. I want to tell you that we never got the chance to read them, I want you to instead. I don't know who you will be, the landlord, the new tenant, a stranger. I want you to know that this was once ours, this home was once ours. I want you to know that I did what I had to do and that I do not regret a moment of it. The paint in the bathroom is chipping next to the sink and the third window from the right doesn't close all the way but if you push an old sweater up against it it'll be fine. I'm sorry the curtains smell like smoke.
If you ever find yourself in my position I offer five words of encouragement. Please, don't let her die.
"Have you seen your parents?" He's sitting in the kitchen chair staring at the wall while the ghost hovers over the stove. It could be easier this way, it could be possible to live in the dream that she's alive.
"No, I couldn't." She pushes a stray hair behind her ear and it jabs him somewhere near his gut. He remembers her in the sunlight with a few strands falling in her face. She would smooth them back and smile and the ghost doesn't smile.
"Why?" This conversation does not exist, she does not exist anymore.
"They don't miss me enough." Two tall figures painted with pride standing next to her at graduation and spending holidays just the two of them, isolated from relatives. They didn't belong anywhere that wasn't each other. "But you do. You need me so I came back. You couldn't live without me." Is this living?
"You aren't June. She wouldn't have returned, she hated me at the end."
"Of course I'm not June, don't be so dull." The way she sings her words, the slight raise of her pitch at the end. He misses that. "She didn't hate you, idiot. Couldn't you see? She loved you too much and it was killing her. You killed her."
"Enough." He stands up, walks in a random direction before turning back and walking the other way. Every step proving pointless, he doesn't have anywhere to go anymore. "Why are you doing this to me? Just leave. Don't come back, let me move on."
"Oh Jake, you can't move on. Why else would I be here?" And he spins around to grab her, to capture her and force her to be solid and is met with an empty room and the memory of her pushing her hair behind her ear.