One Reply to “10.2.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. It is said that we are all strangers to each other. That we can never truly know one another, not really. I think there is some truth in this. Makar says he loves me and I say I love him back, but I do not know if his love is the same as mine, if they weigh the same or are in cloth and texture the same.

    I do love him and I care about him more than I care about most things. I think there would be something missing in my every day if Makar was not there and that I should be always looking for him and always feeling lost. We have been together for more years than we have been apart and that counts for something.

    I do not know if this is what love is for him. I catch him some days and he is staring out of the window, at nothing at all. And he sighs and does not know that I hear those sighs, does not know that I understand. Once there was a bee caught on this side of the glass and he did not see it. I reached past him and opened the window to set the bee free.

    Makar is thinking of a girl called Yen. She is ten years his junior and she files papers in his office. She smells of green tea and cucumber and she wears red lipstick, red like blood. The smell of her is sometimes in his hair and once there was lipstick on the cuff of his shirt. If he did not love me he would be with her. I do not know how to set him free.

    ‘What do you see out of the window?’ I ask him.

    He looks startled, as though he is once again a boy who has been caught stealing money form his mother’s purse. He looks lost, too, as if he does not know for one moment where he is or who he is – or more correctly who I am. We are strangers then and it is briefly obvious.

    ‘What do you see out of the window?’ I ask again.

    ‘Nothing,’ he says.

    Maybe it is not Yen. Maybe it is another girl and I have put things together that do not belong together. Maybe it is not a girl at all and the smell in his hair is something I imagine and the lipstick on his shirt cuff was blood. I do not know.

    ‘You should leave him,’ Ed says. ‘Leave him for me.’

    Ed does not mean what he says. He is happy with how things are. It is uncomplicated for him. It is easy. He has an apartment in the town and he sleeps there two or three times a week. I have a key of my own and I know when he will be there. I am careful with Ed, showering at his apartment so that I do not carry his smells home with me. I tell him I love him, but it is not the same as when I say that I love Mark.

    Maybe I want there to be a Yen, or someone.

    Mark reaches for me and he touches my cheek and I know what comes next. In my head I can see the whole charade played out. I stiffen a little and pull away. I tell him we can’t and he says he understands, even when he doesn’t. He turns away and something in me hurts and that is part of my love for him.

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