I’ve been trying to fit myself into envelopes for the better part of six months. Wanting desperately to find new hands to hold me by the edges and ponder the blank sheet of paper that I have become.
It is selfish. And necessary.
Because of the emptiness I experience when staring into the eyes of those around me. I cannot decide if the nausea felt in my guts has a bearing on anything. It is a hopeless feeling. A feeling that keeps me shackled to sadness.
Our hunger has vanished. An appetite satiated by things we cannot grasp has changed us into wool bearers.
My hunger has vanished. Because I am tired of being unhappy.
Don’t let them tell you what to feel, what to say, how to act, how to dress, where to eat, who to date. Don’t let the suits, the television, Hollywood, magazines, record sales, or the internet grab onto your throat and wallet, to squeeze the very essence of what makes you human into the collective cup none of us drink from. It’s reserved for the ones in the mirrored window buildings, choking with laughter at how easy it is to sell a product to the people of the world. Because it is everywhere, all the time, every day of the year.
They are all trying to sell you something. To get you into their pockets. To sell you how to live your life. Giving you the blueprints to become the perfect consumer. To become a running loop of someone reaching into their pockets at every turn yelling, “Yes! I will go see the same exact movie, every single year, with the same plot as the last ten! Yes! This person is absolutely perfect, because of how they look, not because of how they act and treat other people! I will seek someone with silver screen qualities, because it is what I am told to do! Yes! This is real music! Every song in the same key! Pro-tooled to sound like everything else on every radio station on a consistent 40 minute loop! Yes! I will watch this television show featuring the lives of others, because I am complacent, and do not want to live my own! Please! Take my money, my free will, my ability to think, my ability to feel! Tell me how to do it all!”
Don’t let them do that. Don’t let them turn you into a robot.
Try hiding from theories.
The whispers to your spine.
Give a handful of sand, to beaches never touched, and try hiding from the gaze of the Sun, and her thoughts on the definitions of selfish, lazy, and confused.
Because she may believe in nothing, or maybe only in you. And how the laws you break define those that whisper.
Them, and their theories on love, breathing, and the feeling everyone gets before falling down a flight of stairs. Floating for a split second, and dissecting every movement that led them to the harmony of snapping bones.
Scraps of her beer labels everywhere, always shoveling them into the ashtray I’m hell bent on filling before last call.
She shrugs off a gray sweater revealing a white tank top and perfect collarbones, and slinks to the middle of the dance floor, keeping my eyes on her. Note after note has me nodding, her hands low and looping around the knobs of her hips. She smiles and sings along.
I don’t dance. I watch, letting the liquor soothe what remains of the chill settling on the sidewalks outside. It’s nearly 1am.
I pay the bill and ask her kindly for a ride home. The answer is a smile and watching her skip across an empty road, traffic lights blinking with the melodies still ringing inside my head.
There is a small disclaimer written underneath my tongue. And I show it to every woman that tells me their name or shakes my hand. Two-point font. Barely legible.
We’ve met and now you are reading the underside of my tongue. No, this didn’t hurt. But it hurts to keep my tongue up like this, so hurry up.
Tonight things will happen. We may part or we may end up in the bed of a stranger. Come morning, nothing will be in focus, except skin still warm with sweat.
Just know that when we laugh or sing or get drunk or fuck or fight or leave each other for months at a time, my mind is sharp and I never forget anyone, no matter how hard I try.
You will slide off this tongue. More than once, if I’m lucky.
And it might hurt to read or to wake up. Your name may change and we may change, but this never will.
If you end up as nothing more than a sentence in a notebook, or a line in a song, just know that you have touched my life and whether you want to or not, living forever through ink is something you have no control over.
Congratulations on etching yourself into my life.
The hardest part, is always getting back to the point where I can remember explicit detail. Remembering diction or how a glass is held. How teeth look during a laugh. When the things I say hurt the most. What keeps a person latched to my puppeteer strings.
It’s so hard to remember. Digging deep takes time and patience. And I always remember and I always carry a shovel.
I’ve deleted all of those albums we would listen to together, driving through the twisting and turning back roads of Pennsylvania, or laying in your parents bedroom.
I’ve lost your phone number.
I’ve thrown away all of the pictures you left at my house. The ones we took in the fall, all of those years ago. The golden browns and oranges playing off of your pale skin and freckled nose.
I’ve donated all of the clothes you left strewn about my bedroom floor. Blouses with torn and broken buttons. Pants with walked-off hems.
I’ve burned all of the letters we sent. Those pages and pages of tangible love curling at the ends and turning into ash, something equally tangible to something so intangible in my soul and heart. That sentence doesn’t give justice to the snakes that live in my guts, that toss and turn when I think of you.
I’ve never done something like this.
So I wanted to write you one last time, to ask you what it was like to be forgotten. But all remaining pieces of you have vanished and I can’t remember your name. It started with a letter and ended in catastrophe.
If someday soon you find this and remember what it was like to sweat, don’t remember me. If you find this and remember what it was like to bleed, don’t remember me. If someday you find me and want to remember what it was like to be a giant, don’t remember me.
Because I’ve never done something like this and I hope to forget about it one day.