“…tell me a story. Tell me a story you have never told anyone before. Make it up for me.”
– Isabel Allende (Eva Luna)
It is midwinter’s eve and I remember now what has not been.
The hot sand; your hand smearing the trickle of sweat from your cheek; your short hair steady in the breeze; your restless body ready. You walking from me to the water’s edge. My heart lurching when you turned and waved.
Again, that night under the starlight, away from the city, we stood alone together looking up at the forever that was never ours. My arms around you, hands resting on your belly, under your jacket for warmth. I loved your belly for its vitality, its potency, and its humanity. There were times you lived from your belly and those were the good times.
I felt the chill, that night, slide over my shoulders and down my sides. It was cool out and I had to disentangle myself from you to fetch a jacket and a blanket. Afterwards we lay side by side, staring up and away.
I remember your lipstick on my mouth and all over me. Your passion in all it’s extremes… Some things we must pass over in silence.
There were lean times and full times. Times of shelter and adventure. Times the road lay forever before us. Towards the end there were times of widening silence and unanswered questions.
I remember the moment I finally understood that it was not that I could never give you what you wanted, but that I could never be what you needed.
At moments when I am strong I allow myself to feel again the pain. As we disentwined ourselves from the other, nerve by nerve, thread by twisted thread.
It did not end easily, it did not end well. I became a monster – screaming at the dawning realization; a rat whose nest had been overturned – biting, snarling, clawing it’s way away from the intruding reality.
Your stony silence when everything had been said. Your looks of hatred, despise, fear and humiliation, your eyes revealing the scars I had left on your soul.
And then you were gone.
Now another forever has passed since that imagined time. I stand and peel the vegetables for the evening meal. The pots putter on the stove, the microwave hums. I try to peel lightly, taking no more skin from the potatoes and carrots than is required, leaving their shape and substance intact. Sometime I imagine you standing beside me, peeling with me.
“That’s all, I don’t even think of you that often”
– Leonard Cohen