Is it apprehension or hunger? The feeling of an empty stomach. A hunger for more than we can provide each other. A hunger to be seen in ways that you’ve proven blind.
Yesterday was wearing for us both.
I didn’t quite understand what was different about that morning, but now maybe I do. The chilling winds came from the west in ways it hadn’t before. The air was thick. It covered me at night; dripped into my lungs. I coughed it up and it all came out red. To remind me I was no longer dreaming. That memory is a choice. And I always chose to bathe my memories in roseate light.
Your hair, strands sitting lazily across your face. The smell of the BBQ, blurring the space between us as it becomes part of the summer heat. The hospital. The beachside canteen. The weightlessness. The loss of innocence. The first episode. The second. The third.
I start to forget which parts were real. And which parts I’ve colored to fill the constant hunger. The memories scream, echoing around my empty insides. They turn in on themselves, gnawing at what is left.
In my mind, it was all real. But I can no longer find the end of one moment and the beginning of another. The ribbon to tie it all together. It was all left on your floor and swept under the bed. It stayed there growing with the furtive stories we slept above. The restless nights it caused, staring into your back. Willing my mind to slow so I could forget and be still. For once.
As you’re pacing back and forth, knee-deep in the water, the light skims the surface but it isn’t enough to reveal anything I hadn’t already seen. My hands are tied and my eyes sore.
And now you’re coming this way. Still searching, for what I’m not sure. You’re hungry too. But it’s with unease that you approach and I feel a sudden insecurity. I need to leave. Before you realize I’ve been here all night.
The dawn threatened to break. But you were gone before morning. Every day after was blamed on you because I thought you changed everything.
But maybe it was me. Because on that day, sat by the banksia in the airy afternoon light, I tried to tell you the fables as I knew them.
But they came out as truth.