It’s only three AM, but I’m considering staying awake forever. Not just for tonight. Sleep and I have this love/hate thing, it’s the kind of intense you know could be for real. We could go the distance, fists flying, fists fucking, fisted flailing. We could be real. I don’t understand it when people tell me you can’t love what you hate – how can you love what you don’t hate? What do you hold on to in the middle of the night when your lover is still gone and the light left hours ago, and they don’t answer the phone, and you call and call and you call and call and you call and call, and at some point you stop leaving messages but then you start again, and you try not to sob too much, but then you end up screaming and you can’t for the life of you figure out whether it is better to threaten or to beg, if you can’t hold on to hate? What do you hold on to on those long and ugly nights if you are not holding on to hate to hold on to sanity to hold on to this stupid relationship with this person whose face you just want to break into pieces, you just want to shatter, you just want to slam into the concrete like it was a pillow while you fuck them from behind? If it isn’t hate that makes love possible and tangible, I don’t know what it is. 

 

 

Anyway. It is late here, or maybe it is early. This is one of the many things I have never been able to fully understand, like if you should tell people your horror stories so that they will feel sorry for you, like the one about the time when you were so, so young and so, so trusting and then your dad threw a huge marbled glass ashtray through the window, the noise it made was obscene but kind of perfect, and you knew you would never be quite the same again, you knew you would always know that there was something violent right around the corner, or if you should keep them to yourself so that people will see you weeping quietly once in awhile and they will think that you are perfect and mysterious and so, so strong, and they will want to be like you but they will also not want to be like you because really they will also be thinking that you are so, so cold. Like that. I do understand whether it is early or late like I do not understand what to do with my horror. 

 

It is whatever it is, and I am not sleeping. I started out not sleeping because there was work to be done, but then I didn’t really do all of the work and I am still awake,  not doing the work, and the work is still not done and this is a thing. It might be a good thing and it might be a bad thing and it might just be a thing that is, but it is, undeniably, a thing. Instead I am listening to noises and drinking a beer that someone put coffee in (bless that person, I could not decide if I should have coffee or a drink, but then I found this in the back of the refrigerator, it may not have been mine originally, but it is now and I am grateful for this as I am grateful for anything that takes a decision and makes it something I do not have to make) and I am that kind of tired that is not tired, that kind of tired that wants to pretend that it is really not at all anything, not any kind of thing, it wants to pretend it is the opposite of tired, but it can only do that if the eyelids will sign a pact and keep to the treaty, and they are considering breaking it, the tired can tell. 

 

So I am almost sort of tired, and sleep is a long way off, because there are so many things that need to be done, besides the work. There are so many things to read and write and say and do, so many people to greet and hug and fuck and punch in the face, the gut, the groin, so many apologies to make, so many thanks to hand out. There is always so fucking much to get done, and it is this that makes me lie in bed for hours, staring at the ceiling and thinking about the way light works, because if I don’t think about that, I have to think about all the things I should be doing when I am lying in bed staring at the ceiling thinking about the way that light works.

 

When I am doing this I am feeling like I am 14 years old, and then I realize that I don’t really recall being fourteen years old, and I don’t really recall being fifteen or sixteen years old either. It isn’t that I don’t remember anything that happened when I was that age, it is just that I don’t remember what age I was when the thing I am remembering happened, and even when I think I do, I am later proved wrong. Time went non linear on me so long ago, and now there is no lucid chronology I can use as a point of reference. Even saying that time went non linear so long ago  feels like it could be an accidental lie, like maybe it was last week or a month ago or two years ago that it did this thing to me, and then I have to spend at least an hour (I think, who knows?) knowing that so long ago  means something different to everyone, or maybe it means something different only to me and I do not know that it means the same thing, a set thing, a set amount of time, to everyone else because this lack of chronology extends itself and becomes a lack of language to describe chronology, becomes a lack of everything everyone else has where time is concerned.

 

So it is what time it is, here, and it is what time it is, there, and the two are different things but also I am fairly certain that they might really be the same thing, and time differences are just a trick played, a lie told, a practical joke. I was in bed staring at the ceiling thinking about the way that light works, when I remembered the way that light worked when you were lying in the bed with me. It was exactly the same as it is now that you are not in this bed with me, and just there, in that moment, in that one uglydumb moment, I knew that I never loved you and I never hated you, and I think my heart might actually be broken forever just from knowing that.

 

I thought you should know, too.

 

That might seem cruel, but it is the only way to give myself a tiny piece of hope, you see. When I realized that I never loved or hated you because light worked precisely the same way without your presence as it did with it, I also realized that you might be lying somewhere, or maybe sitting, or maybe standing, and realizing that light was not even one tiny bit different without me, and then you would know that you never hated me and so you never loved me, and that is a thing I cannot bear. I simply cannot bear the idea of you knowing that, and so I thought if I told you this, that I never loved you and i never hated you, never, no matter what I said or did, the times we fought and fucked like forever, like forever and ever amen, the times I fucked you in the street, the times I held your hand and bought you ice cream, none of those times, none of them meant nothing but none of them meant three little words, I thought if I told you this then you would hate me and you would hurt and you would reach out and lash out and you would try to hurt me, and maybe then I could hate you. If I could hate you now, maybe I could love you now, and maybe loving and hating you now would somehow get lost and tangled in my lack of understanding of time, and I would believe that it was then that I loved you, then that I hated you like a thing I wanted to kill, and everything would be okay again, and I could go to sleep. It is the only thing I can think to do for us. 

 

Do you understand? I want you to.

 

 I hope this finds you well.Good night. (Is it night?) 

I just want to be more than a haunting to you. Remember that? Remember those days? The days and nights where we were something solid to one another?

 

Maybe you don’t. That would be worse than this, I think.

 

I’m supposed to tell you that I want you to be happy, that I want you to have forgotten me, or to only think of us once in awhile , to pause with a sweetly wistful look on your face before continuing on with your grocery shopping, your phone call, your fucking in the back of a tiny car, your drinks with friends. I think that that’s what I’m supposed to tell you. It might even be what I’m supposed to want.

 

I can tell you that, and sometimes I do. I tell you a lot of things, so it’s really not that surprising that this one makes it into the rotation. I tell you that I hope you are happy, really happy, I tell you that I am lying in a pool of my own sticky blood and I hope you know that this is all your fault, all your fault, all your goddamned fault, I tell you that all I want is just one more filthy fuck in a place where fucking isn’t supposed to be going on, I tell you that I think of you often, I tell you that I never think of you. I tell you a lot of things with my hand on the little button on the phone that makes certain that no matter how many times I dial your number, you never answer.

 

I want you to still love me, I want you to still be here with me, burning down churches and staging hand holding sneak attacks. I want you to be hurting, I want you to fucking suffer with wanting me, I want you to feel my name in each of your veins, and I want you to call. I want you to call. I want you to call me and call me and call me, I want you to panic about how many times you have called me and swear to yourself and whoever you call your best friend now that you will never call me again because only creepy stalkers call people that many times in the middle of the night and fail to ever say anything.

 

I want you to never call me again. I want to hear your voice in a bar and spin around with such speed that I nearly have whiplash, only to see someone that doesn’t even vaguely resemble you and feel something that isn’t disappointment but is the closest thing to it I’ve felt in months. I want to see you on a street corner and race after you, heart pounding, trying to look casual while wiping the sweat from my brow before realizing that it wasn’t you, again. It wasn’t you this time anymore than it was the last five times I bolted down the street trying to look like I wasn’t chasing anyone.

 

I want to find a way to move backwards in time, and spend at least a day or two locked in the night that we sped down the hill in your car, taking turns screaming with our bodies bent through your sunroof, screaming blindly and wildly, screaming nothing, screaming song lyrics, screaming screaming screaming, all because it was possible and if something is possible then to not do it is a crime we are not capable of committing.

 

I want to commit. I want us to commit to one another, to commit to not doing this anymore, whatever this is that we are doing, that we are almost always doing. This is what we are doing every time we are not being something, but somehow we never get around to being nothing, and I want us to commit to not spending one.

More.

Fucking.

Instant.

being something so vague. I need us to decide and then stick to that decision, are we something or are we nothing, are we here or did we vanish somewhere along the way? Anything is better than living in a shadow play where all the puppets are us and all the puppeteers are us also but we can somehow never figure out how to untangle the strings and figure out the trick.

 

Do you understand the things that I am saying to you? Do you? Can you even fucking hear me? I’m yelling in your ear, I feel like I have made a very successful megaphone and am holding it less than one inch away from your face, but something tells me that you are still not listening, that you are still not listening, at least, for comprehension, and that you are just waiting for the right moment to slip back into being the thing that isn’t something but isn’t nothing and I tell you now, I will not stand for it, I will not allow it. I will simply not let this continue to be the case between you and I, and I do not need your permission to make this decision. My decisions from this day forward are going to be, above all, like a decapitation, one swift strong blow or the head will never roll.

 

I want you to say that you understand. I want you to say something that leads me to believe that you understand at least the underlying ideas of what I am saying to you now. Of what I have been saying to you since the beginning of time, it feels like. You are older than me but somehow I feel as though I have been saying the exact same tired words to you your entire life, and I do not think you have heard a one, not even the times you’ve responded and we’ve had entire conversations like this. I do not think you heard even those words.

 

Can you begin to understand how I feel at times like these? Half drunk on whiskey and painkillers, well on my way to being an irrational being, if such a thing can exist where rational beings don’t (I do not know – is it possible to be the opposite of a thing that is not?) I feel as though I am the only one feeling anything here.

 

This is what kills me, the idea that this is not killing you. Why isn’t this killing you? Why aren’t you dead yet from the pain of knowing that I do not want you anymore, that I do not want you to stand near me, that I do not want to harass schoolchildren by your side, that I do not want to drink too much and run into the street half naked and screaming with you just to see what might happen? There are so many things that I do not want to do with you anymore.

 

Don’t you hurt over any of them? Don’t any of them make you want to lie in a pool of your own sticky blood and call me and tell me that you hope I know this is all my fault?

 

Oh god. Is this all my fault?

I never want to see you again. The first time was only not the worst time because of it’s promise to be the last.

I don’t need to meet you to know you. In my head, we’ve spent at least a dozen years inside one another, filled to the forever fucked brim with every little misery we could offer up together. Our minor happiness was only a brief fantasy, a shared dream that inspired a devotion that bordered on cultlike- we were never what we wanted so desperately to believe in. We were never capable of anything even similar. I wish I knew the way to make you see that we’ll rot in precisely the same pattern, alone or tied to one another, lockstepped and ever as lonely as we are at this moment. I CANNOT CONSOLE YOU, I cannot offer absolution in my skin or the seeming sinew of my limbs. I have nothing to offer you, and it could never have been otherwise.

What we had didn’t mean absolutely nothing, but we ourselves did. We needed so badly to believe in the possibilities offered up by what our child-selves didn’t know enough to keep. But, it seems to me that we will never be the right people at the right time. I know it seems insane that I’ve decided this without your physical presence ever sharing space with mine, but it’s a singular aspect of my borderline psychosis, this decisiveness.

And above all else, be decisive. Make your decisions like a decapitation. Cut off the head in one swift, hard motion, or you’ll never sever the stem. This, I’ve learned in all of your absence.

Absence itself is a physical presence. It is a thing to behold, but never to be held. It is also, curiously, my fate never to be held again, I fear.

This time, right now, is the best we could possibly have. I can’t pick up the phone and call you, I can’t make a solid date, with a time and a place and an assigned activity, because if I did, I’d be that one step closer to meeting the reality of what we are or will be, and I don’t think I’ll like you as much then as I do now. You will never be as perfect as you are now, with phone conversations and the ideas of you in my head, the ideas of us in my head.

 

Right now, today, you know that I think you are interesting, interesting enough to talk to at least and that’s something,  and that I find you not unpleasant to look at. I know that you must not find me revolting, as you seemed in no great rush to stop talking to me, and, already knowing what I think of you, you agreed that drinking coffee in the same place at the same time was, in fact, a better idea than not doing so. But we know so little past that, and I can build us better on that nothing foundation better than we will be built on our something. 

 

I’ve heard that people often make the mistake of falling in love with a person’s potential, what they could be but probably never will because no one is ever quite as good as we think they could be. That’s true, I don’t imagine people are just making that up to have something they can hold responsible for their inability to choose a good mate, although that’s plausible too, actually. We all want an explanation for our failures, and an explanation that makes us look hopeful and trusting as opposed to crazy and delusional is obviously preferable.

 

This is not that. I am not falling in love with your potential, as I don’t even know you well enough to know what you might be capable of if you truly exerted yourself. Rather, I am falling in love with our potential. I am falling in love with the idea of us in a café, passionately discussing whatever it is we might feel passionate about that day, with us on a beach walking in the rain, with us making people uneasy in the most wonderful ways, with the way you’d push back your hair and I’d smile because it gave me an excuse to look at your hands, your perfect hands, with the way you’d use the hands to hold mine in public, as if to tell me and everyone else that I was with you and not anyone else. These are the ways I picture us, and if and when we do go to get that coffee, it’s not even remotely likely that we’ll live up to that. I won’t fall in love with you, you won’t think I’m beautiful in the morning with no make up on, and we’ll quickly enough become an obscure memory I’m able to dredge up from time to time.  We’ll be forgettable sex and a wasted week.

And even if, even if I do fall in love with you and you do fall in love with me and we don’t sink into our respective anonymous holes in each other’s minds, it won’t be the way I see it in my head. You won’t bring me flowers and I’ll find your hair in your eyes annoying instead of endearing and the holding of hands in public will be just one more thing we can have a petty disagreement about, and in the middle of all of that there will be beautiful things between us, but they won’t ever be as unmarred as they are where I’m standing right now. 

**A note: The person who sent this included a url to a blog. I’m not posting it right now, as I’m not certain that they wanted it included. So, if you’re out there reading this, author, let me know and I’ll happily add it.**

 

i’m
thinking of you again. 
how stupid. 
almost a year and you still have this hold on my heart
my mind, 
my soul 
my BEING
it’s late
i’m high on cocaine, thinking of when we used to share that and then make love
knowing that now
all i have is pornography and your fading memory to satisfy me
i hope that you are happy.
no, i really hope that you are miserable but i know that part of the healing process is letting go 
but i’m not ready to do that yet.
i still love you- i’ll always love you
i hope that you find what you need
and
i’ll still
be here

loving you

—