10.22.2014 Journal Prompt

Image from If You Don't I Will
Image from If You Don’t I Will

October 22, 2014: Only here.

One Reply to “10.22.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. It was what I liked about him. Way back. At the start. And he was just so mad, you know. Like he’d come home from work and he say let’s do this or do that and it’d be crazy what he wanted to do. And we’d get into the car and drive out of the city to quiet places and just be.

    We stood under a railway bridge once, and we waited for almost an hour, just talking about everything and nothing. Then, when the train thundered over our heads, we screamed so hard and so loud that we could not speak afterwards. And we laughed ourselves breathless. I’ve since seen it done in movies, but it felt like we’d done it first.

    And we walked into the centre of a forest, or as near to the centre as could be guessed, and it was like no one before had been where we were. We leaned back against the trees, feeling their strength and the press of their bark, and we just breathed in and out, slow as slow, listening to the world breathing with us. And birdsong hung in the air and everything was clean and real and stopped.

    ‘Close your eyes and just feel,’ he said.

    I did.

    ‘The ends of your fingers, the rising and falling of each breath, the slowing of your heart.’

    One day, to the sea, and we stood up to our knees in the water and the wind was rough in our hair, tearing, and he held my hand and I held his and we did not care that the water was sharp as knives against the skin. And after, we ate fish and chips out of paper, sitting in the back seat of his car with the windows rolled down so we could still hear the sea. And his kisses stung my lips, sharp as salt and vinegar and teeth.

    I thought it would be like that always. I thought there was no limit to the mad we could be and the daring. We made out in an elevator once, and I know they have cameras in those things, but it didn’t matter. And in the basement of the local library where the valuable books are kept; and on the back seat of a bus that was going nowhere. But it’s not like that now.

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all his fault. It’s not that he’s given up. I’m to blame, too. And maybe it’s just the way of things. I hear others my age talking about their relationships. They all say how it’s more settled now, and how it’s better than it was. Oh sure, it was mad for them, too, at first. How they were always touching each other and kissing and fucking every time they met, and that was all exciting and that. But it was exhausting, too, and now they’re all glad that it’s different.

    ‘I couldn’t have kept that up, Jesus!’

    And I get that, I do.

    But today he was late home from work and there were leaves stuck to the soles of his shoes and the rub of moss or bark on the back of his jacket and a torn spider web in his hair. And when he was asleep, I dared to lean in close to him, close enough for kissing, my lips brushing his neck, and I breathed in, and he smelled so clean and new. And I felt alone and lost and old.

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