I was part of his atmosphere before I knew where my feet were taking me. We stood there. Silent. Our only communication had ever been through exchanged glances. First of curiosity, then of desire, finally of mutual understanding. Months would pass between each steady hold of each others eyes but the energy was palpable always causing the hairs on the back of my neck to raise up as though a shock of electricity was shooting through the room.
He was who he was and I? I was with someone. My heart promised to a man I barely knew but couldn’t let go. Yet here I was, so close to him that I could see the tiny beads of sweat breaking out over his skin. We had never been this close before and neither of us knew what to do. So we continued to stand. Silent. Our senses electrified by our proximity. Never had I felt so passionately about anything that I could put no name to. What was this? My heart threatened to beat so wildly out of my chest that it almost met with his. Suddenly I was a fawn just learning to walk and he was the only thing keeping me upright, yet also the one causing me to be so weak and disoriented. I close my eyes and for a moment and the entire world consists of just us two. Our hearts beat in unison, a sound so loud it muted out the cacophony of the room and I can no longer tell where I begin and he ends.
You fill your life with lies that you convince yourself are truths and you shroud yourself in them, wearing them proudly, pretending to bear your soul to the world through a diaphanous curtain of lies perfectly sculpted into illusions of truth. No matter which direction you look at them from you are tricked into seeing something that isn’t there. You convince yourself so thoroughly of love that you can’t decipher what it is hiding. What is your illusion obscuring from you? What is it that is pulling at your heart? What is it that is causing a glint of truth to shine through and dance off of all the rough corners of your lies that you believed to have hidden so well?
“You can’t.” He whispers almost imperceptibly to the point that I wonder if he actually said anything.
But that was it, wasn’t it? That was the reason we wear our lies so comfortably; because all we need is one ray of truth to shine its beauty onto our rough cut lies and dazzle us as it dances across our bodies hiding the imperfections and alighting all the wonderfully manufactured “truths”. For so long I had desired to rid myself of my shroud and as I stood there, completely encased by his warmth, I knew this was my moment.
My eyes open and, breathlessly, I kiss him. An almost imperceptible moan betrays him, letting years of built up wonder escape into the time we can’t occupy. The life we will never have. The love we so long to have but will never be able to hold on to. I continue the kiss for as long as I can but what still feels like no time at all. As soon as our lips part my ears are assaulted by the raucousness of the room. His face fills my vision as my shroud falls down around us, shards of lies and truths shattering onto the floor, glinting in the light – a beauty so vicious you don’t realize the pain until you have been released from it.
I stand there naked as his face disappears into the crowd; from behind I hear my name called. I turn around, a single tear escaping to join the ruins on the floor. With one single glance he saw me. He finally saw me. And before I even had time to take one step he, too, was gone.
Naked and alone I left. I left behind everything I had worked so hard to make myself in to; I left behind the only person who had ever seen me; and I left behind a love that was so superficial I often wondered if I was simply making it up. And now the world could see me. Every part of me. Broken free by the kiss of the one who knew the forbidden freedom of loving yourself. Because loving yourself was the most forbidden love of them all.
An excerpt from one of my novels:
There was a party that night. There was a party almost every night, but this one was different. Everybody we knew was at this party, gathered together in an intimately large crowd of faces and names that few cared to remember but all knew. We passed by each other throughout the night – a light brush of the hand here, an exchanged glance there, a shiver of longing stretching across the space – never stopping to say hello. Words fell out of people’s mouths falling onto the ground in a cacophonous thunder – twenty six letters collecting on the floor in a strange new menagerie of words that none of us understood.
As the raucous party grew to an unbearable din it ended suddenly, a collective nod to the silently agreed upon expulsion of a raucous affair that never had a purpose but always came to fruition at the end of what some face or another would proclaim was “one hell of a day.” The after effects of liquor leaving piles of bodies haphazardly strewn around the apartment – the unexplainable fallout of a night that would be remembered only upon waking eyes blinking into focus a room that was not theirs; a partner they had no recollection of acquainting themselves with; a memory they will forever be searching for.
We united in the hall, our unspoken words screaming out, echoing through the apartment. Falling onto the bed we tore at each others clothes, desperate for a feeling we both knew we would not find. His eyes searched my face as hungrily as mine searched his finding solace in our shared emptiness. We were all each other had. All each other wanted. Our passion grew in immensity as the sun pounded its unforgiving rays through our curtains, spotlighting our deception.
The sound of my heartbeat threatened to burst my eardrums as we stared at each other in a state of mental and physical exhaustion. I saw his mouth open as three words spilled out and fell upon the space in the bed between us, forming a pool of empty desire. My mind screamed, “what is love?” My lips parted, but the words got stuck in my throat. What came out startled both of us. “I love you, too.” An unnoticed inflection at the end trailing off into the dark chasm of misunderstanding that would live between us forever. There is no question in love.
He moved his calloused hand over the curves of my body, laced his fingers through mine, and pulled me close. Our legs intertwined, our souls met in the middle. Nothing between us but naked lies etched upon our scared hearts. A beautiful duality of lies and truths created the world around us. Created our lives. Created our love.
This is a (really) short story I wrote a few months back when I was having trouble piecing my heart back together. I wanted to cry and throw things and scream because it all hurt so much, but instead I wrote. And this is what came out:
The weight of a misplaced emotion can absorb you. Pull you down. Control you. Unworthiness. Insecurity. Hate. You can feel them; embrace them. Let them warm you like the welcome heat of the sun. It doesn’t make sense but you don’t want to let go. Warmth is comfort. Why would you ever abandon comfort? They say it isn’t good for you. But what do they know? Listen to your heart. Hear it pull at you. Shove you.
Two roads diverged…no, two people diverged. Both taking the road less traveled. She, full of emptiness, heartbreak, hopelessness. He full of anger, hate, and sentiments of good riddance. Which one was right? She asked for little, he gave even less. She wanted love, he wanted…what did he want? She will never know. He will walk on. She will attempt control, comforted by her loneliness. Untouchable. She can’t break anymore, already shattered.
The world will continue on. He will continue on. She will…decide. Here. Now. Yes or no. All or nothing.
She smiles up at the sun. Mocking her. Pain is kind. Love is vicious.
Has she moved yet? He is gone. Already. Hysterical, she takes a tentative step. First one, then another. Stopping shortly. Wrapped up in thoughts of the end.
It all makes sense. So simple. So easy. It doesn’t matter, does it? There is more, isn’t there? To her, there is. Much more. Waiting. She has a choice. He is gone now. Nothing else matters. What is beyond? She always wondered. Is this her chance?
Fear is so far away. Close your eyes. Listen to the world. What does it say? Does it want you? Can you feel it? What does it say? WHAT DOES IT SAY? Welcome. You are always welcome. Here. Now. Tomorrow. Forever. It waits.
Shattered, just like her. What is left? Everything.
Moving forward is moving back. Moving back is impossible. Forward, backward. It is all the same. Spinning in circles. Careless and carefree. Forward she goes, backward in the process. The sun replaced by the moon, lighting the way. Backward while forward. We’ve been here before. Always. Time moves around us, we remain.
Steady. Unbreakable. Untouchable.
Love is everything. Love remains to torment, torture, tear down. Rebuild.
In loving memory, of what we once were. Of what she is now. Of where he is going, been, left behind. She will never escape him.
He approaches. She has hardly moved. Yet here he comes, swiftly toward her. A tornado unable to control its path. She waits, holding her ground. Ready for the storm. Welcoming the warm relief. The comfort of what is known. They collide. Become one. His anger stemming. Her comfort rising.
They are one. Forever.
This is a story. Just like any other. Of a boy and a girl…and a life. Where it beings and where it ends, if it ends. Does it?
We all live together in the same world, at the same time, the same life. Together we are apart. All the same, we are different. In our differences we relate. We can all relate. One story is no different from the other – this story is yours. It’s your friends. That person you passed on the street the other day. The man you bumped into on the subway yesterday. Your dentist. The wrong number you dialed last week. Your best friends. It is all of our stories. Maybe you have heard it all before, but you still want to know. You have questions, you want answers. But there never are any, and so, you constantly search.
He is her everything, that much you understand. She makes him what he is – that makes sense. But still, there is something; something unnamed, unknown, unanswerable, but you need the answer. And so you run. And you keep running – in circles, while she waits, usually in tears, sometimes in defiance, mostly in confusion. She will always wait. For you. Alone and uncertain of all but one thing – you.
You try to remember a time – a time before you were one. It is vague and it seems unreal. How could you have existed before each other when now one doesn’t make sense without the other?
My heart is still broken, but I have faith.