Spread out on the page of someone i do not know
Loved by mutual friends, i saw the thumbnail and recognized the tiny fuzzy figure it held
i willed myself not to click
Ah, but click i did
There was one… no… two… two beautiful pictures of ink that i’ve traced with my fingers
Skin that has pressed against mine
Long hair that fell across my face when she took me
My gaze fell down the photo to the wisps of hair that were so often slick with want and need
i wanted to cry
i felt the warmth rise in my cheeks and the heat behind my eyes
i wanted to cry but the tears would not spill over
i wanted to cry because i thought it would get rid of the pit in my stomach… no… not stomach… heart? No… chest… yes… chest… the pit in my chest… lodged there like a cold smooth pebble in concrete
i could breathe but i could not swallow to save my life
i closed the browser, opened a fresh word document and stared at the blank screen before fingers began dancing across keys to process… i asked myself why why why… and i began to write in real time just what i was thinking…
And here i am… feeling out loud
i feel no need for privacy… for the photos are not private… our photos were not private either
we splashed our love across pages with just such abandon… there was nothing wrong in that… there is nothing wrong in this
Why did it upset me, i wonder? what was the source of the pain?
i am realizing two things – seemingly unrelated
One is about the warrior on the screen and one about the warrior behind this keyboard.
She looks fierce, my bitch… my ex-bitch? Wtf do i call her now? “my old girlfriend?” hell if i know. In one image, she looks like she’s gone away. In the other, she looks fierce.
i know that look. i know what it means and what it does not mean. i know how she easily she affects it and i know why. i know how important the hair is… i take a minute and recall all the tiny moments that led to me knowing such things… all the little memories that add up to a life shared. And i smile because she is beautiful… and the images are beautiful but they are just that… they are images. i realize that there is sadness in me because i want her to be happy… i want her to be fierce… i want many things for her. i hope in time that i do not worry so much about her. i hope that i can release the last feelings of responsibility that i still feel. i have moved on for myself but i am still oddly concerned for her. That doesn’t serve her and it does not serve me and that’s all me.
i square my shoulders as i finish typing that last paragraph and hit the enter key.
i can look fierce too… but the second realization is so shallow compared to the first. i look at the ink and remember the first time i traced it but i cannot remember the last time i touched beloved… cannot recall because i did not know – then – that it would be the last time. i have a photo set from the first time we laid naked in a bed together… touching that ink. i have no photos of the last time, of course. i miss the skin and the flesh. i miss that ink undulating in my bed and vibrantly wet in my shower… i miss the sex. It was some mighty epic shit. i miss it. That’s sadness.
Those images remind me of the corporeal her – they do not summon to my mind the real her at all – but they remind me ever-so-much of what it was to share bodies and passion. The real her is carried in my heart… in snapshots there. And the rest… i have those memories we made… in photographs
That is all. Still, no tears.