My hands are shaking, of course. That’s nothing new. If you were here you’d comment about my anxiety and we’d argue about earthquakes and aftershocks. I never told you that I was shaking beneath you and I’m carrying every kiss you ever blew me in my hands because you knew I’d always catch them and save them for later. It is so much later now but there’s still misplaced affection and I don’t know how to handle it.
Do you remember the night we first met, driving around town at 2AM, you asked basic things about me and seemed so intrigued. You questioned me like you were the police and I had committed a terrible crime. No. No. You committed the crime. You stole my heart that night. You asked what my favorite color is and why someone like me wanders after dark and I began to describe to you the abuse from my mother as if you could wrap your mind around it and I explained the different person I become when the clock hits 11PM. You asked what my favorite flower is and it did take me awhile to think of an answer. Lilies. Obviously lilies. Do you remember that?
The next night you came again as expected. You showed up to my window with a bundle of lilies in my favorite color. I never got to put them in a vase because i’d never have an explanation for my mother as to how I got them. So they stayed in my closet on a shelf dying away from me, almost as fast as you did. It’s been six months and I still have them. They’re in a box in a new closet which feels appropriate and I have been endlessly cursing at myself for not pressing them into my favorite book. I keep meaning to turn them into art and…six months. I’ve had these dead flowers for six fucking months and I plan to keep them forever. I don’t know how to throw them out.
It’s hard to write about you because it hurts too much to think about and that’s coming from an emotional masochist. Sometime after rereading this I remembered I still have the flowers, even after moving away from the house that drove me crazy. I no longer have concrete evidence that you, somehow, had loved me sometimes. I don’t think about you anymore, really. Sometimes in passing, like I remember things we did together, remember laughing together, I remember crying, I remember the feeling of your arms around my waist and I can still hear the sound of the door slamming the night I told you I was going away. You lost it, completely. I still feel the fucking ground shaking.
I’m not really sure why I’m writing this. Maybe just for the sake of finishing a thought. Maybe because I feel so goddamn alone and you were the best thing that ever happened to me and I wish you hadn’t turned out to be such a bastard. I wish I could see you again. No, I don’t think about you anymore but I am right now and in this moment I would do anything to go back. The fucked up thing is I don’t miss you, not really. I just miss the concept. I miss companionship. I miss these things that I have always wanted and never really had, at least not always.
I’m not even really writing to you. I’m writing to a dream,writing to a longing. Writing hoping that someone realizes I have been screaming so loud for so long that I’m not sure if I actually make noise anymore.
I’m sorry that I’ve used your memory as an outlet, a symbol. I just needed something to write about, to care about, to feel about. I needed an emotional distraction so that I didn’t have to think about what I am doing, where I am going, and what I want. It isn’t you. It never was you. It’s me and all this goddamn loneliness because I don’t know how to exist outside of my head. It’s me and all my insecurities and this illness, this isolation, this fooling myself into thinking that everything is okay. I’ll be fine. I don’t need anything real. Half-assed substitutions will do.
About the Artist (in her own words):
Hi I’m Lauren. I am 17, a dancer, western/English horse rider and I have a thing about writing nonsense on paper until it looks poetic and interesting.
Also from the Memoir Series: