I liked the way his shoulders caved in as he’d plant a wide-gripped hand on my shoulder and cocked his knee and furrowed his brow as he decided in which direction to go next.
I liked the way his two-different-sized-eyes would go adrift from time to time, especially as he looked down at me, my cheek pressed against his heated chest, his right eye-lid flaring as our pupils met.
I liked the way his haircut resembled a paperboy cap before he’d brush it into its proper shape. I liked the coarse blackness in his gritty voice, how he’d curve his lips around words, how he’d mumble about his sticky fingers combating his intentions to roll a cigarette.
I didn’t like that when I wanted to be angry with him, I couldn’t. It became tragically apparent that the collection of likes I carried for him we’re assembling into a feeling that I wasn’t willing to feel, and I could see that the barrel was full of these perceived endearing traits of his that I’d compiled, it’s sum ready to spill over into a reluctantly sincere, extensive presumably undeserved admiration.
In my moments of upset, I recognized that the barrel wasn’t becoming any lesser. Only in times of happiness and pleasure could it’s weight vary, seemed it could only ever become heavier. And the only way to stop the contents from increasing any further was to cap it off, seal it shut, and carry it with me on my back - ever to remain this painfully evident, searingly memorable collection of likes that were mere fractions away from becoming that great and complete admiration I could never allow for.
Every day after I left, I could feel my bones cracking beneath its weight. I could feel my shoulder blades pressed upon it, battling its splintered sides. For months I suffered its unforgiving metal frame scraping against my skin. But after a while, I grew accustomed to the weight. My muscles grew, my skin calloused, my posture straightened. Only when I caught a glimpse of my reflection would I realize it was even still there, strapped upon my back.
But make no mistake, it was there.
All the time, it was resting on me and covertly altering the fluidity of my functionality. I’d only become adjusted to the ways it was perpetually attempting to restrain me. I had learned some time ago that I was good at making these necessary adjustments. Call me agile in the sport of love and loss.
But within my prideful decided naivety, I indulged in occasionally appreciating the appearance of that hefty barrel, and all the other vessels I carried attached to my person. I was mesmerized by their insistence, their ugliness, their evident permanence. Everything, everything changes. But also, nothing ever leaves or escapes us. I equally love and hate that reality. I equally love and hate most things, I think.
I want so much everything and nothing all at once.
I want to make out in the back of a taxi but also
To just stare out the window and feel lonely on purpose.
I want to feel your heat beside me as I sleep
But with my arms outstretched to lengths at which
leave no space for your frame.
I fucking want you, I want you, I want you;
and I want not to have a ‘you’ at all.
I want to devour everything, but I want to be light.
I want to feel every feeling, but I want to be numb.
I want to write, drink less, sleep more.
But to write I must be a drunken insomniac.
Everyone hates to admit that they can’t have it all.
My Thai Vegan Cafe - Chinatown, Boston, Massachusetts
Thinking Cup - Hanover Street, North End, Boston, MA
Backbar - Somerville, Massachusetts
Set in Brick Series - Boston