A COMMUNAL EXPERIMENT IN SELF CURATION

a Soul Project

archival : some clarity, at last. no clarity, ever :

Nick.

Even now
I barely have the words.

I felt you. From that first instant, I felt you.
My heart was available, and there you were.
We danced timidly, laughingly, and my spirit soared.
We ditched that place. We walked down the street and compared driver's licenses. We had the same birthday. I stopped in my tracks.
Outwardly, I clowned and raved and fussed and made you laugh and you asked me to go dancing in earnest.
Inwardly, I felt the first distinct pull.

You felt something, too. What exactly, I can't describe for you.
I went home with you;
Against my nature, against my "morals,"
but not against the calling. I followed it to the end.

The edge of the bed against my shins. I straddle your lap, still clothed.
We sit there for the next half hour. We don't kiss, we breathe. We embrace. We stare. I find myself nuzzled into your neck. I feel the shape of your arms, your waist, your chest. We pull back and stare more. Repeat, repeat. I have seen some eyes, and I have never seen anything like yours. Baffled words escape me, to the effect of, "this is probably so stupid, but, I feel like I've known you my entire life." I feel like I've known you my entire life. I feel like I've known you my entire life. The feeling fills me, washes me away.

The weeks and months that follow are a mixture of great intimacy and misery. I try and show you who I am inside. I try desperately to repair the damage to your trust put there by those that came before me. My inner self thrashes and flounders under your distrustful, detached affection. Confusion ensues. Months lapse. In the end, I have no idea who you think me to be. The Self that first met you stares blankly out through my eyes. She was never embraced, truly. She withers.
I close the chapter and depart with finality.
I depart from this town that can't hold the two of us.

I receive your reciprocal cold shoulder.
I receive your outburst of anger and resentment.
I receive your text, saying "I think about you daily but tonight was extra hard. You are special no matter what, I still love you."

I recite it over and over in my mind.
I force myself to last through the next month without contacting you.
I force myself to leave town. To exit stage left. To wait for these words to conjure and to execute them once I'm safely out of reach. I wait to stop agreeing with your words, but the feeling never comes.