Repeatedly smashing into our car. Remember that honey? It was like three years ago or something. I canít step on the date exactly. You know how the past can kind of just ball up into a temporal mush called yesterday. Sorry I sound like a tired lounge singer. Can you hear me through the walls? Are you still sitting on the toilet panties Ďround your ankles staring at the frightful news on your lap? Look weíll get over it. Everything will be fine. I promise. I promise. I really do. Itís not an empty threat anymore I offer guarantees now. I can restructure the universe. Did you know that? Thatís what people mean when they say I promise. It means I am in control of the situation. More than in control actually. You are bending the situation to your will. So when I say I promise it means Iím something like a god wouldnít you agree? Weíll have to wait to see if Iím just talking out of my ass on this one. Iím rambling again and I donít even know if you can hear me. I think we have mice in the basement. I keep seeing things skitter around the corners and the shadows but it might be my mind playing tricks on me. I donít know if it means I want to see mice or or or something else that is escaping me and I canít find the word right now. Tip of your tongue. Tip of the tongue. Just barely emerging on time. To be heard when it has to be heard. Striking the match. Thereís a saying about broken clocks that I also forget right now. I have had quite a lot to drink. See? Iím opening up. Iím being honest with each other. Iím trying to look to you to do the same through the wall. Through the locked door. Iím cheering you on with quiet hope. Iím yawning in front of the love of my lifeís precarious situation. Iím caught between sleep and stumbling across the floor. And a minute seems bit like a lifetime but itís hard to say because I havenít lived a lifetime yet but I wonder if I am getting close. Eh honey? Is it finished in there? I still hear you breathing and the odd footstep and neck crack. Stretching. Getting ready to get up and face the night. Stand up stride to the door unlock it open and there I will be. Sprawled out prostrating myself on the hallway floor. I like the paint on these walls. A good colour. We painted when we moved in. We hated the lime green the last people had everywhere but I forget who chose this one. You or me? Iíll say you to make you feel better but I think it was you anyway. Thereís a fly crawling up the wall inspecting rubbing its hand in anticipation. Maybe heís waiting for you. Or maybe he doesnít care whatís wrong. I wonít tell him anything. Heíll just buzz away and go fuck mrs. fly and get on with his life and we can do the same so just donít let it get you down these bumps in the road smooth out eventually after all. Maybe. Hopefully. Can never know how things turn out but I want it to get better and thatís a good a start as any. I want change. I want love. I want to. I want to and I donít know how to finish that sentence. I donít know what to do. Canít think of what to grovel and rant. I want to see you. You can be my muse. I can talk about you like a sports commentator. Your hair your facial tics how you glide around the room. Grabbing on to the shower curtain like itís a lifeline are you there yet? Has your dance brought you across the tiles from sink to rug to can to tub? Swinging around to the knob in five minutes and then the door quietly opens and we bow and forget this whole thing ever happened? I want to. I want to sleep in bed with my hand starting on your shoulder and sliding down your side to your ass. Breathing in unison. Breakfast in bed. All that sentimental shit that isnít quite a waste of our time. All the stuff we laughed at other couples doing like sharing milkshakes holding hands incessantly weekend picnics matching jewelry and imaging theyíre really dead inside. Dead. Rotted empty souls. Horrible thoughts placed upon good people. I donít understand people anymore canít bother to assume a thing about them theyíre a complete mystery to me because the people I thought I knew I really didnít and not just you Iím not making you example A in my train wreck of the last five years but everybody even my other woman my other friends all calculations and wires got crossed and I came out with nothing. Iím back at square one and Iím cold and hungry. Crossed wires. Town is burning. Fire department canít get through. Doors locked. Supply lines broken. Lines become dots until theyíre rebuilt again. Lines. Stare at your hands Iím staring at mine itís a couples thing quick therapy session. Lines. I should have taken a picture of my hand when I was five just to compare. Lines. Tiny little cuts of age crisscrossing the palm. Palm readers. You told me you went to a psychic or something with your girlfriends for a drunken lark. I chortled and changed the subject then but Iím listening now. Was it a story you had ready when you brought it up was it just a a a thing to cut down on the silence on one of those awkward early dates over expensive chicken and cheap wine? Honey Iím being interested in you now. Youíve forced my hand to make it so but here I am. Here. The door. At the door. This door. One of many in the house. When is a door not a door? You are behind this one right? Iím not pouring my heart and mind to a toilet seat? No secret doors that I donít know about? Secret passage ways you had built when I was on my ahem business trips? What secrets have I missed? I havenít gone through your drawers in years. I donít know what Iím missing. Knickknacks upon trinkets I suppose. Ticket stubs chinese food menus ATM receipts tourist guides proof weíve been from here to there. Proof we left the house and lived as much as the Joneses. We did it we must be good people. Honest righteous upstanding citizens and all that jazz until the shell cracks like a rock on a windshield. We ate all the shallow pleasures and now we canít climb out of the empty bowl. Itís itís bothering me Iím trying to honour my new years resolution to cut down on the metaphors the bad metaphors to stop dancing around the point to tell you point blank with no second face but my knees keep buckling and I spew bullshit and close the door and hope everything will be different tomorrow. Knee jerk reaction followed by knee jerk apology. Breaking out of cycles is damn near impossible eh honey? Weíre trained to fall into them and love them for what they are not jump in and out of them like hoops. School cycle work cycle life cycle. All around and around. One thing then another. Click. I took the phone call earlier yes I did I heard it all and Iím not mad. Swear Iím not. Itís just another thing that happens. Iím letting it all fall away and rust or get chewed up whatever happens to the trash we donít need weighing us down. Manís voice. Another manís voice. Didnít catch and his name and donít care. Iíve forgotten him already. Heís a figment of my imagination. You were just fucking a ghost legs wrapped tightly around the waist of an apparition. Iím letting it go. When I see your face in my mind it gets easier to do it. It gets easier to do everything. Iíve come round full circle I think and am back in your arms. And I love your arms. I do. I do. I do. You think I grimace when I turn away from you or cry and wish for six years ago in the darkness of night but youíre wrong. You forgot how much I cared for you I did too and now itís slowly coming back every little corner of you Iím remembering bit by bit and I canít find a speck of hate in any feeling in any these old new thoughts. Itís slipping into old skin that was just waiting for your return. Other people have fell by the wayside close to me close to you theyíre all gone now yesterdays papers not even a footnote on our notches on our bedpost. Just us. Itís time for just us. I donít care about whats-his-name Iíve thrown whats-her-face down the proverbial mineshaft the past has passed. Iím trying to get the wheel turning again my heart a-fluttering again Iím staring at old pictures of us for hours on end not the ones where weíre frozen with our arms round each other because we asked a third wheel to snap it like endless parades of couples but the candid ones instead theyíre warming my heart because theyíre real theyíre full of life and attitude and no vapid smiles. Youíre turning away to look at the time Iím grabbing something out of the oven youíre eyes are closed and Iím sipping a cocktail thatís what Iím tearing up over. The real. I can remember those moments better than the frozen snapshots. Iím running out of fancy words Jessie. I just want action now. Reaction sorry. Just something from your end. Do something anything Iím prepared. Iím ready for anything. Dunno if you could do much to shock me now anyway. Suddenly I am a veteran of your methods. Lost my innocence years ago to your hair brained schemes. I got your number I got your way of living down cold I write your routines on the back of my hand I can kick down the door right now if I wanted to but Iím not Iím not Iím just cracking another beer here on my hardwood floor. If I wanted I could get down on my hands and knees and take a peek at your toes but I can just check the photo albums down the hall. The rain stopped hours ago yíknow. Itís a clear winter night gotten colder but still crisp put on your boots let us wait for snow to make angels all right? Iíll stuff your mittens under the door and Iíll find a carrot on the fridge. Weíll find a dog and romp with it across some field miles away from here. I can you can something else to do just need a pick me up right? I can fix us another drink like it was nothing like it was water so sit tight and Iíll dig out some ice. It can be wonderful. Wonderful things are within our grasp. Tomorrow is coming and you canít stop it so donít worry about this or that sun rise sun set. Weíll go faster than the speed of love I read that somewhere somehow TV maybe. You canít fool me Iím afraid. Rooting through the medicine cabinet for nothing. Iíve laid out all the pills on the kitchen table. Stacked ten across and nine down. Rows of blue columns of green. Hate me for that throw yourself against the door in rage but you canít keep me down Jessie. Iím still walking the line Iím making it through the days. You can sink like a stone but Iím not locked in the bathroom so youíll just have to drown all by your lonesome. Itíll be a first. Death by tic-tacs. Minty breath for the autopsy eh? Does it get even a titter? It wasnít the finest wit but I wouldíve loved to the split second smile on your face. Just a quick pull of the muscles. Just a quick glance at it to make my day so go ahead. Open the door. Open the door. Magic words. Please. Open sesame. I love you. Now. Are you waiting for me to say something? More than something perhaps the right thing? I need to be strung along guided like the fool I am I donít know what you want to hear what you need to hear that will make the world right again make the sun rise in the east for the first time in eons. I can do things that will make you happy. I am equipped with that function and I want it to happen. Ready and willing. Already on my knees for you have been here for the last hour. Iíve got a laundry list of my apologies and patch up jobs and Iím crossing points off as I blunt their sting. I told her. Months ago. The end. No more. Itís all you now honey. If you think itís anything more still growing sneaking behind your back still poor excuses cold shoulders then itís all in your head. Itís nothing now. She cried but I cried more I cried louder I had points to make. I have things to do places to be I said. I have love somewhere else and I have to keep the heart pumping there or else Iíll shrivel up. Cut the cords sail away back here in my home port should never wander away in the first place kicking myself as I rap on our door. Returning to service. Horrible mistaken vacation over. Back where I belong. I can reach the top shelf if itís too hard for you I wonít ask questions I can be a good little robot a vessel for your whim itís not hard I can still be useful can you hear me? Blink once for yes two for no. Any communication will suffice for now. Beggars cannot be choosers. You play the hand youíre dealt. More things like that. Buck up cowgirl. Am I dictating your final goodbyes? Is all this just exactly what someone in this house needs to hear and itís not the person locked in the bathroom? Through me a bone here. Give me something. Iím here for you. My cheek on the door. My hands drawing circles on the hardwood quietly so I can try to hear you breathe. And breathe you are. Ragged but there. And although Iím worried about you always will be Iím not worried that youíll suddenly stop sucking in the air and spewing it out. I donít have to look in your eyes to know how far youíll go. You donít have it. You donít have the fucking balls. Iím waiting with 91 punched and then Iíll hang up because I donít want to waste their time. Youíre not that kind of person and youíll never become that type of person. Old age will catch up with you before your eyes change colour. You wonít clock out early. You want to see the mountains and the ruins you donít want to die on a tile floor. You want to stick around. Thatís your job. Thatís your modus operandi. Slitting your wrists in the bathtub like a faded film startlet isnít. You arenít enough of a poet to down sixty or seventy yellow pills. Thatís not playing the game. Thatís turning around in the tank. Thatís taking the nails out early. Thatís making fun of the ragged handicaps. Thatís making your lefts and rights without signaling. You keep pushing me this way and Iím running out of ways to hit you without leaving a bruise. I want to hold you I donít want you to crawl away Iím trying to remember how it used to be and make that old life out of all these matchsticks and playing cards. Give me a break cut me some slack even some patience and mercy would do in a pinch. Ah mercy. I wonder what it feels like. Iíve never been pardoned by a governor or forgiven by a lover so itís new to me. Like freshly fallen snow. I read about it all the time. I I I got a lists of books I want to read and if you just want to um join my book club that would be grand. Small one person or two person thing on my bed later on. Coffee and snacks on the sheets. What do you say? Listen. I know secret juicy gossip right up your alley make you right as rain friends and neighbours are just like us drinking like fishes fucking like rabbits popping pills every five minutes wringing their hands and sweating brows over who they are and the endless tomorrows just like us like we do we are typical cogs in the mundane regular wheel of life letís get off our high horses and laaaauugh the night away. Eh? Huh? What do you say? Nothing but the swirl of a toilet flushing. Breaking silence like a jet engine. Waiting for your footsteps. Checking out the sink honey? Getting those soft, smooth hands clean? Whatís next for those beautiful fingers? Where are they going to go tomorrow? Round the strong neck of some back door man? Just curious you know how my mind goes on and makes stories and situation out of the brisk but thin night air. What you did because of my dicking around is nothing in my mind. Iím so far beyond it. Itís not even revenge anymore. Crass petty word toss it away. What it was what it is now is so much more beautiful than that, itís itís itís a baptism, a resurrection, a cleansing rituals for the gods. Itís coming out of the ashes with the understanding eye beaming out of your forehead. Itís newness. Newness. You were fucking him for newness. I be mangy old dog. You be enchanting star crossed lover. I forgive no really I forgive truly no fingers crossed I forgive. I canít see a crime here I canít see a trespass. Youíre cleansing was mine too. We both fell through the looking glass together and are all the better for it. No penance, both our flings cancel each other out. Or something like that I suck so bad at math. I donít remember the fight we had over it the screaming the crying itís like a blur to me I still donít remember what you wanted me to say but if you remind me Iíll say it know and I know it will be sincere thereís not much I wonít concede to you. Iím trying to remember every barbed remark trying to recall every little moment of division between us. Iím fucking the facts of this life so hard. As if I was caught in the act pants round my ankles and and and why is the fridge suddenly so far away I canít even see it when I squint now. I try to think picture how much beer is left inside and I canít come up with a number beyond some. Some. Maybe for tomorrow then. Call it a night. Call it over for now. No more beer and you unlock the door. Fairís fair. Sounds good. Itís a step in the right direction the only direction left. I am trying to get better Iím trying to be good Iím trying to find a way and smile and itís not easy itís taking time you have to trust me to believe in me I donít know if what Iím doing is always right because right is becoming so hard to find and hold on to itís all different shades of yes and maybe Iím just guessing with a heart of gold. Sympathy? Can I get a moan of sympathy from the other side? A gurgle? A last gasp? A skull smashing against the side of the tub? Nothing? Shall I move onto the news of the day? It was sunny. Nice. Not too cold. Had a ham sandwich for lunch. Your sister called this morning she says hi how are you hope youíre feeling better we should come over for dinner and see the baby again heís grown so much since you saw him last that sort of thing. She said to ring her back any time literally any time the baby keeping them awake throughout the night and all. I forgot to take a note sorry about that I knew I would remember and remind you next time I saw your face you and her look so much alike but I still forgot until this moment. She sounded happy. Hopeful. Excited in a guarded respectful sort of way. Has a lovely voice too. Iím folding up your papers you spilled across the kitchen table Iím not reading them just changing them paper airplanes sailing your secret thoughts flying all over the house who do you think is cute check yes or no what are you doing later mash notes for real people careening down the hall. I wonít look at them ever just getting close to your thoughts that you canít even share with me. Wonít ask wonít tell. Shrink is out for the night. Try crying to me for awhile. Wrap your scarred arms around my neck. No judgments or advice tonight. Not tonight. Nothing tragic is going to happen tonight. It will be sleepy trot to dullsville. Open door, exit hallway right. Curtain. Simple. I was in the bathroom only ten minutes before you walled yourself up in there so I know what you have to play with I was drunk sure but I catalogued it all like a shark like a professional no surprises please I know what youíre juggling in there tearing open the drawers for something I may have missed. Razors are under lock and key Iím afraid. Hairy legs tonight for the good of us all. And tonight itís a pounding headache for sure but at least youíll have minty breath. I hate the empty rattle of my beer can. Hollow. Almost forgot my promise to myself moments ago. My mind is all over the place a bit. Putting it back together brick by brick second by second take concentration my tired eyes canít decide upon. You know what I think? Not about me but about you? I think youíre running out of time. Youíre running on pills youíre running on memories youíre running on well I guess youíre really just running and thatís it and you fell into the bathroom and you donít mind the soft absorbent fluffy rug and you canít tear yourself away from the mirror which is holding you in place like medusaís glare. Sometimes things can better you know. Sometimes is always gonna happen. And sometimes and sometimes and sometimes I just shut right down. Right in the middle of the road. Turn off the engine rip out the key. Deep breath. Again. Say something positive. Start again. Clutch. Ignition. Chugging alive with a weary shake. Back in business. Just sitting there in traffic gonna make a left turn on grand had the whole route planned out in the back of my head when it came from behind I didnít have time to even react in any pathetic half assed way just suddenly there was a truck eating the back of our car as glass shattered steel splintered and we were pushed far away from ourselves.
Remember that, honey?
|the downside to moral relativism is that suddenly everyone can possibly be right|