April 15, 2015

The Morning After.




I extended my dead-weight arm to the off switch and felt the muscles in my sleeping body slowly awaken: my shoulders, down to my torso, through my legs until my body was physically functioning. I forcefully lifted my heavy eyelids and spent a moment staring at my midnight blue wall allowing my mind to slowly gain energy. The edge of my cell phone was pressed against my face. I propped myself onto my elbows and pressed a button causing the screen to illuminate feeling instant regret in my strained eyes that had been accustomed to the dark for eight hours. Five new text messages, two new emails, nothing from you.
The second your name reached my eyes, it burned and was quickly transmitted into my mind causing my head to become heavy and hit the pillow with a disappointing thud. The second your name reached my eyes, it burned and I felt my lips quivering where yours had been less than twenty-four hours ago. I swallowed the rest of your feelings you had left to linger and felt them voyage down my esophagus and into my weak stomach, not yet fully awake but already sinking as the remains from your lips last night combined with my repressed tears to weigh my stomach so far down I was immobile. My heart raced at first sight of the letters on the screen in hopes of reconciliation and gradually slowed to a pace below average allowing me to count each beat that went by until I forfeited after fifteen, the number of letters in your name.
Five-thirty on a Monday morning with a broken heart is a frightening time, however five-thirty on a Monday morning with a broken heart while alone in a dim lit room alone with your thoughts is significantly worse, so I made the decision to take a shower. I pulled from the bottom of my tank top where your hands had rested last night and lifted it over my head, throwing it to the ceramic tile floor. I slid off my blue cotton boyshorts and I stepped into the scorching water in an attempt to burn your fingerprints from my skin. With each touch of the washcloth to my skin I scrubbed harder, some pieces left raw to be cleansed by the water. I cringed as the now lukewarm water washed whatever was left of you.
I wrapped myself in a towel and walked back upstairs toward my bedroom. Although you'd only been there once to see my books, you never contaminated my bedsheets and that was something I was grateful for because sleeping at night was already difficult. I chose to press play on my cd player and lie down for a bit because I couldn't find the motivation to get myself dressed until the songs you compiled began to play and I quickly shut it off. Choked up, I scanned my closet for an outfit and saw memories plastered on each article of clothing. The maroon v-neck and black sweater I'd worn out first night together where you took me for coffee and we went to the park. You would become an accurate substitute for my coffee soon enough. The black floral dress from the Valentine's Day we drove a half an hour to get pizza in Wicker Park and a half an hour back to my house to watch a movie. The azure and grey dress from the day you drove to the city to meet me after class, you criticized the way I mixed all of the Slurpee flavors into one cup, and I sat amongst a plethera of men in their early 20s outdoors just to watch you skateboard. My white lace top, high-waisted black shorts, and grey sweater I wore the night we spent waiting in line at Starbucks the day they dyed the Chicago River green, the same night we went to the new park they built and I told you about my phobia of body slides due to claustrophobia. However, I chose my black and white striped top, black skirt, and lace tights from the first time we decided to 'just be friends' which lasted roughly two weeks. We walked the entire path around Lake Michigan and stopped so you could attempt to jump over seven stairs with your skateboard, the Marina Towers as the backdrop. If we were 'just friends' once, we could be 'just friends' again and although I could still smell the lakefront in the threads of my top, I bravely slipped into onto my torso.
It was already 6:30 and I needed to begin my journey to the train station. My car ride was quiet as I was afraid each lyric, syllable, beat, rhythm, line, chorus, refrain, and title would bring you back to the passenger's seat you once claimed. Only once, though. You always drove because you enjoyed the tranquility of the road and the radio. The last time we were in my car I drove us to the tobacco store and for one dollar iced coffee because your state of mind wasn't quite right. It hadn't been since the day before and that would continue for a few more days. I would worry about you because you told me we had forty-four minutes to six o'clock when really we had nineteen, you failed to remember things, and you struggled while driving. I don't know how many times I expressed my worry to you, but they were all brushed under the rug and our conversations always continued.
The day I drove was the day we watched the sun turn into the sunset turn into the moon and we watched our relationship transform to something equally as frightening and unknown. We decided to finish our evening with a film and I sat on my hands the entire time because to this day I don't know how to just be your friend. You felt sick and were drifting to sleep, later confessing your fear in resting your head on my shoulder because you didn't want to give off the wrong impression. It was bizarre, sitting on the futon we'd once made love on and now sitting like two children in time-out intimidated by physical contact. I folded my knees into my chest and I can't necessarily recall the events leading up to it, but I can vivdily remember sobbing in your lap repeating the same phrases about things being unfair and how unsound our separation was. I remember you waving to me as you left my house.

(You'd later tell me about a girl who'd stolen your heart from nine hours away and I would drink in a last resort to forget your name and end up forgetting mine, first.)

I kept both my phone and headphones inside my backpack, allowing myself to get captivated in the last paragraph of The Great Gatsby instead of my thoughts. As the train continued further into the city, my stomach sunk deeper. I patiently waited for my next train and forced myself to face East. The Purple Line crept over the Michigan Street bridge. I leaned my head back against the glass window, eyes shut, inhaling, peeling them open, exposing them to the Marina towers which stood tall along the lakefront. This was when I realized it was over. We would no longer be in love in the early evening in the city. We would no longer hold hands, get the hoops of our nose rings stuck together, and I would never stare at you without you noticing admiring the beauty that radiates from your personality, out your almond eyes, and behind each word that is either spoken, intimately whispered, or passionately wailed each time you'd sing to me in the car. You left a bitter taste in my mouth and your smile is now branded into my eyelids and I find myself wishing we'd never met. However, I find myself wishing you'd never left far more often.
Baby, I'm yours.
& I'll be yours until the sun no longer shines.
Yours until the poets run out of rhyme.
In other words, until the end of time.



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