The Last Time

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image – Angelo Gonzalez

The last time I felt sexy I was standing in front of the refrigerator. My hair was disheveled and my makeup nonexistent and my sweatshirt hanging impossibly off my right shoulder. Looking for a cocktail and incapable of making a decision I looked up to see him staring unapologetically. I could feel him looking through me towards an unknown future and mapping every line and curve along the way and imagining the passionate throws of love and lust and comfort. The last time I felt sexy I was standing in front of the refrigerator. I wasn’t even making him a sandwich.

The last time I felt alive I was surrounded by friends. Obligations were forgotten and responsibilities were put on hold and maturity was traded in for high heels and shot glasses. We abandoned discretion and embraced our fleeting mortality and looked at one another like we were promising forever in the back of high school yearbooks. I mentally cataloged the evening and smiled for pictures that wouldn’t fade and clung to the edges of every hazy detail. The last time I felt alive I was surrounded by friends. I fear life will never allow me to feel alive again.

The last time I listened to him he promised me I couldn’t do it on my own. I was craving a father’s approval and desperate for the slightest hint of acceptance and yearning to find the smallest trace of paternal pride on his face. I had become accustomed to hurtful words and hateful fists but never the palpable absence of parental acceptance. I let the words singe my confidence and ignite my desire and fuel my selfish passion for success. The last time I listened to him he promised me I couldn’t do it on my own. I made him a liar.

The last time I felt understood I was reading an email from a complete stranger. They found themselves inside sentences and between syllables and behind the suffering syntax of another. Without an engaging prompt and despite an absent request they extended an electronic embrace of understanding and acceptance. They shared their story and exposed their pain and built a bridge that connected two wayward islands floating in treacherous waters. The last time I felt understood I was reading an email from a complete stranger. They forever changed my life.

The last time I saw him he was smiling. With a beer in his hand and an intoxicating grin that promised mischief at any moment, he looked at me. Not like most do. Not with motivation or agenda or a misplaced sense of lust. He looked at me like he did when we first met in a sticky middle school gym, his hair slicked back and his jeans two sizes too big but still with the same intoxicating grin. I captured his stare and smiled back and touched the back of his hand when I told him I had missed him horribly. The last time I saw him, he was smiling. I still see it at night.

We desperately attempt to remember our firsts and constantly crave the new and exciting situations where more firsts will emerge, yet it is our lasts that seem to impact us the most. The last time we saw them alive or the last time we felt immortal or the last time we realized we are never alone. The last time we felt desired or the last time we realized our true potential. Those are the defining moments in our lives.

Our lasts are everlasting.  TC mark

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