On Letting It Go.
You are a complex man built of silence and self-hatred. I hate to admit it, but I share your soul. I spent half my paycheck and a week’s worth of planning trying to show you the world, but it’s still not good enough. You slam your lighter to the ground and it bursts into a fiery array of silver and dark plastic. There is nothing more tedious than a ferociously jealous twenty-something throwing a tantrum outside of a college party. I finger the door latch on my car and estimate how long it’ll take to get you in it. I bet myself $5 that in ten minutes there’ll be four lanky bearded boys clutching a Coors Lite, watching the action unfold as they take drags off their Turkish Golds. I am both $5 richer and $5 poorer. As you raise your voice, I know soon the girls will begin to filter outside and things will really start to go down the shitter. They’ll pull us apart and form a barrier between you and I, with their backs to me. Then they’ll turn to me and ask me if I’m okay, attaching terms of endearment to every question.
In my apartment, you hold your head in your hands. My twin spirit is all too familiar with your mannerisms. I could write a ten-page script for all the questions tearing you apart. They all begin with “why” and end with blind self-hatred. Instead, I peel off my clothes and wrap myself in a red blanket from our bed. Kneeling next to you, I fold my legs to my side and drape my arms around your shaking shoulders. I spend eternity saying all the things I wish someone had said to me, but every word is met with rebuttals and tangential accusations. I knew it was coming as equally as well as I knew that anything is better than silence. In the dripping, dark pit of desolation, a voice you reject is better than no voice at all. When surrounded by your own complete destruction and a mountain of shame, any sound to hang your hat will do. I let my voice drown in the darkness as I stroke the back of your neck and think of my own mirrored heart.
Despite the disapproval, the judgment, the one-sided fighting, the spiteful remarks, I like having you near. Taking such vigilant care of you forces me to forget about myself. I have no time to spend thinking you’re lying about loving me when you’re crumpled on the floor moaning something about how I left you to play a round of beer pong with someone else and how could I leave you alone and what was I doing then. I have no time to waste threatening break ups when you leave the bed in the middle of the night to twist and torment yourself with some innocuous comment from the night previous. I have no time to waste sabotaging this relationship with my insecurities if you’re already destroying it with yours. I’m fucked up, but you’re more fucked up, and your fucked-up-edness takes definite precedence over mine. It’s deep-rooted and conditioned from birth in a series of unfortunate genetic catastrophes. My days will be spent with fistfuls of invisible band-aids and empty hours sitting next to your cold body.
The strangest part is although you and I both have mercurial souls and a fierce taste for destruction we are still very much a slow burn. I don’t need the psychotic ups and downs to confuse me into believing that it’s love. In fact, I haven’t fought you one step of the way. You told me late the other night that I scared you because I never have anything bad to say about you. I hope this never changes. I think it marks the beginning of a new phase in my life. I will be stable; I will be your rock. Sometimes we run out of things to say, and sometimes I’m just glad to have a pair of arms wrapped tightly around me in the morning. I know our relationship isn’t a “roller coaster ride that derails in a shower of sparks,” but I’m heartbroken when you’re gone, and I crave the silence that falls between us. I love the way you play ukulele for me, and I don’t know how to function without your awkward walk. I beam with pride knowing I’m the only one who can get you to sleep naked, and the only one who tells you you’re beautiful, and sweet, and kind, and smart, and funny. We are a definite slow burn, but I can feel the heat rising.