It was warm
I felt whole
you smiled at me
and I knew
I’d be alright.
We’d get through winter
and all its cold nights
and we already got through February
and for some reason
it’s warm today
and we’re sitting outside
drinking pink lemonade
like it’s summer already
and you look at me
and you smile
and I smile, too
and we know
we’re exactly where we should be.
And I didn’t think I cared as deeply as I did
but when you left and I was alone
I would give you
if given the chance.
When the sun is about to set
and your face is illuminated
with an orange-yellow glow
and the world around us is, too
and the grass is green,
the flowers are blooming,
the smell of spring is in the air;
we have made it through winter.
The window open,
a newly cleaned room,
a cup of tea
cooling on the windowsill.
With nothing left to do today,
I relax and enjoy
the smell of nature,
the sunshine peeking in,
my cup of tea,
and a good book.
And someday we’ll find ourselves in different places, in different homes, with different lovers and we’ll decide to reconnect. Maybe we’ll see each other on the street, or someone will mention something that reminds us of each other, and we’ll reach out and we’ll reconnect.
You’ll tell me about how you’re happier now than you ever thought you could be. I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to and you’ll listen. We’ll make jokes and remember what it was like when we were once so close. We’ll wonder why we ever drifted apart, conveniently forgetting what happened between us that day when we thought the world would end. And I remembered it for a while, and I cried for a while, but I got over it, and I got over you.
But it wasn’t like I didn’t think about you, and it wasn’t like I didn’t look for you when I went by your old house. You told me you moved two years ago. I’ll say, “has it really been that long?” and you’ll say, “it’s been six years, man.” And I’ll feel sad. And you’ll feel sad. And we’ll agree to stay in touch, but I’ll tell you I’m only in town this week then I’m going back to the city, and you’ll look at me like you’re proud, and I’ll feel like crying.
And in that moment, I won’t be able to even think about what broke us apart. I remembered us staying friends for a long time. And we were there for each other through everything. And somewhere along the way, we separated.
We’ll be reminiscing about our conversations and I’ll be surprised by how many details I remembered, and then I’ll remember that we stopped talking because of something so stupid and so trivial that I laugh out loud in the coffee shop. And you’ll ask me what I’m laughing for and I’ll tell you. And you’ll look at me, chuckle once, and shake your head.
“Foolish,” you’ll say, and I’ll agree.
and I thought it was funny at the time
the way you tore down everything I built
and I remember I laughed
when I caught you in yet another lie
and I remember thinking
I’d be better with you in my life
then why am I thriving now?
And I remember thinking back on the night you left. And I remember thinking I was glad. But I wasn’t glad, I just didn’t know how to feel so sad. So broken. And the months that followed, I felt sad, and I felt broken, and I made mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes trying to get over what you put me through. And I thought that would be the end of it. And it mostly was, but then I realized I’m a year into this new relationship which started way too soon, and I don’t even like the guy. I don’t know what compelled me to ask him out. Or why I was on Tinder so soon after my last heartbreak. But I was and I didn’t want to be. I tried to end it, and I fell for other people while we dated, and I made more mistakes, but I never felt complete. I didn’t realize at the time and I would come to realize in the year after I left him, but I didn’t need someone else to feel complete. And that’s not something anyone could’ve told me, either. That’s something I had to realize the hard way. After five years of basically back-to-back dating people I barely cared about, and all I really needed was a few close friends. And to care about myself. I didn’t need love. And sure, love is great, and I wouldn’t turn it down were it presented to me now, but there’s more than just romantic love. And I think platonic love is beautiful in its own way. I think friends, true friends, would walk to the ends of the earth for each other. And I think true friends would be there for each other when they needed each other. And maybe it was the guys I was dating, but I never thought they’d do that for me. And my friends, I know they’d do that for me.
There are days
I’d rather sit in silence
than talk about our problems
than talk about our days
I go silent
I’ve always been
floating in and out of people
in and out of obscurity
It’s like I’m molting
the way I completely change
when I drift in and out of
but I’m not so sure anyone else notices
because they’re busy wondering
where I am
because I disappear
for months at a time
only to come back to say
how’ve you been
it’s been a while
They sat across from each other in a vacant diner at midnight, high out of their minds, and pancakes in front of them. The pancakes, had the couple been sober, were bad. They sucked. No one comes here and orders the pancakes, especially not in the middle of the night. But to them, two stoned 21-year-olds, they were the best pancakes they’d ever had.
The man, tall, about six foot, unshaven, stomach just about reaching the table in front of him from where he sat back on the booth, made a joke about the pancakes and the woman, despite her best efforts, laughed. She didn’t think the joke was funny, in fact it might’ve even been the worst joke she’d ever heard, but she had the social obligation to act like she cared about him.
And he thought she cared. He was so certain that she cared because he lied so flawlessly whenever she came close to catching him. He was so convinced no one would ever catch his lies; he’s been doing it his whole life, at this point change his name to Lyin’ Brian. And she didn’t want to believe he would deceive her like he did. He was so nice, and so caring, how could someone be so heartless?
So, she had her suspicions and he had his bad jokes, and together they had bad decisions. They both thought they were made for each other, how silly that seems to them now. Because when it came down to it, she could only manage a laugh with him when she smoked, and he could only exist in the world when he did. And what kind of life is that?
I once knew a man who cared for everyone but himself. He would walk to the ends of the earth for his friends, but he wouldn’t do a thing for himself. And people tried to make him care about himself, I tried to make him care, but it was hopeless. I wasn’t sure he knew how to care for himself and that made me sad. And he couldn’t wrap his head around how that made me sad, and I never expected him to because I knew how he was.
He was selfless and he thought that made him good. But he would drink his problems away and couldn’t understand how that hurt me, too. He would invite me over to watch over him while he drank and I tried to get him to stop, but it was no use trying because he did what he wanted and he would never listen to me if the advice was about his own safety.
And I cared for him. I cared for him more than I’d ever cared for anyone. And he knew that, or at least he knew part of that. I cared for him because he was good. He had good intentions, at least usually or when it came to his friends.
And I tried for so long to write something for him, but I could never get it right. Because it’s all so complex and I could never put it all into words. Maybe if I was given more words, I could explain what it is I feel for him. But for now, I’ll say I care.