when i was a kid, i swore i would never have more than one car. because i grew up in an environment where there were always more cars than the people driving them. the other night, when i was laying on the couch in my small two bedroom apartment. that i share with my boyfriend. where we both, at the time, had notebooks perched on our laps. i realized that perhaps the dilemma of this generation has completely changed. we've no problem being a one-car family. (we're even a one-tv family.) but between us, we've got four computers.
There's a letter to you in my drafts folder. It rambles endlessly about my relationship problems. About desperation. The seething angles sound like I would have been screaming into the walls of my lonely apartment if I hadn't turned myself into text. Raging like a mad woman. It oozes bottles of red wine. And insecurity. In it, I ask you whether you think that being with someone should be this hard. And admit that I feel completely unlovable. You would have known what to say. I can't recognize myself in the words. Now. Can't imagine how that life sustained itself. For so long. How I became in those sick days so much less than human. I leave it there. Unfinished and never reaching you. I don't want to go back. In a time when I didn't have a name. In a world where you still had two feet.
asia dreams of paper boats. and names. stalks the zero streets with the taste of your name in her mouth. proximity creeps in the curves of her thighs. sneaks the sound and the sense to the glint of the ground under feet. where life reduces itself to logic. if then. textbook. where you swallowed the memory of the burnt tree, and she gave it away to someone who wouldn't want it just to bring it all back to even. she knows you're a big fan of equations. asia dreams of paper boats. and fire. dances like locusts to invisible castanets. in drifts. and says the name of your name on her no-name over and over again until her you and you her become named. asia dreams of snow. and fire. on paper boats. sailing.
he cut himself shaving. the morning he got lost on the way to waterloo station. they met at the fish and chips shop.
the best fish and chips she'd ever had. she'd said.
but not that afternoon. she asked him to write her a love letter. and he took the rock from his mouth. to lay glinting like a dog's eye in the palm of her hand.
but how is this a love letter?
and he asked her how love feels. but didn't say anything about the solid space. the unique pattern. scape. the weight of the stone in the palm of the hand. on the tongue. the cool forgiveness. the way the shape and sense can be memorized and recalled in the mind. on the skin. the non-verbal. the fact that he'd wrenched exactly that one from the thousands of others. claimed it from the rest of the world as an exchange between. hers. his. impenetrable and theirs.
this is just a rock she said.
bored and resigned.
where did you get it? she asked.
and he said from out of the empty pocket of my mouth. where she touched her fingertips to his lips. then to the rock. and said the word rock and lips out of her mouth into the empty afternoon sunshine. she threw the rock into her purse, said goodbye, and went home. he caught the train to neasden. sat in the garden and watched the cat chase moths into dusk. made dinner and watched the television until it was time for bed. between the sheets he rolled his wrists in counterclockwise motions. twice each. and was sure that, with a little courage and time, some day she would make someone a very fine paperweight.
today. it snows. and i stare out the windows searching the infinite patterns of the universe. for some resemblance of you. me. even with the shades shut. i can hear you like fingernails on skin just on the otherside of my life. while i tear the weekend newsprint into jagged edged paper hearts. i want to soak the words into water and pulp. extract the mass of letters and ink into something more plausible than a mess of misshapen moments that have left me stained and half naked on the floor of my living room. i always swear that i won't go crazy. that i'll comb my hair and sleep normal hours. that i won't rage and rave like a lunatic who lost a lover ten thousand years ago and never knew how to recover. when i couldn't write about the opposing sides of love. and windows. and the coldness of winter was a red sweater you wore once hushed into the corner of the bathroom with my name caught in the back of your throat. i am not love's blood and guts sidewalk. anymore. in the mornings when i press my face into the space of the sheets of your scent after you've gone.