This morning I woke up with a vague sense of nostalgia. My bones ached as the light made its way through the curtains and I lay in bed for a solid hour thinking about the fact that even though we shared a lifetime of adventures together,
I can’t for the life of me remember the sound of your voice.
I know it was deep and loud, I remember making fun of how it boomed when you spoke to large groups of people. You said it was because theater life had taught you how to project it. I also know you had a hint of an accent and that you used words only “old timers” would use in daily conversation. But for some reason I can’t hear anything but a faint buzz when I picture you speak.
See, my mind has a funny way of remembering you.
I remember the words you said because they still dance around in front of me. Every conversation we had still lives inside my phone, your name staring back at me whenever I open up my messages. I haven’t deleted them out of some masochistic impulse. The one that hits me late at night when I’m half-drunk after a crappy date and I read over our chats and tell myself it’s possible to find a connection like that again.
I remember your favorite book. You gave me a copy of it for my nineteenth birthday, bound in dark green leather and gold type, and marked all your favorite quotes inside it with a pencil. I remember you told me: “Mark yours too. It’ll be like our minds are having a conversation.”
I remember the mole near your thigh because I used to kiss it every chance I got. You told me no one had ever noticed it before me, and I told you that as a writer I was always paying attention to detail. I remember the burn mark on your left thumb from when you were thirteen and tried to light the chimney. I could draw a map of you connecting all your birthmarks, scars and spots because I remember how well I maneuvered them and your body it when we lay in bed together.
I remember the first fight we had.
We were standing in the middle of the living room after four days of not seeing each other and a collection of misunderstood texts. I remember I called you a selfish asshole and you called me pathetic. I remember it was the first of many, and that these fights became even more frequent and filled with venom over the next two years. I remember the names and faces of the girls I had to pretend not to know existed. I can even remember the smell of their perfume staining your clothes.
I can pinpoint every destructive moment of this crash and burn ordeal we called a relationship, but no matter how quiet the room is or how vividly I imagine your lips and the way they moved,
I can’t remember what your voice sounds like.
But what kept me hidden under the covers wasn’t a futile attempt at trying my best to remember, it was the realization that I don’t mind not knowing it anymore. I don’t mind not hearing you sing in the shower or curse while you cooked dinner. This silence sounds like moving on. And, darling, it’s about time that happened.