A red splotch the size of a dime, maybe a quarter, near your collarbone. I noticed it when you walked in the door. So tall and upset, I didn’t know how to react. The mark distracting me from your sadness, your sadness distracting me from the mark.
Now here we are in bed hours later and you’ve asked what I’m thinking. Your large eyes, almost comically so, stare at me. They cripple me. They siphon away the courage I might’ve had to tell you something real.
Because I know if found the words you’d get up. You’d drive away. And I don’t want you to leave. I want your good face to stay. I want your long body on mine. I want your blonde hair always in my life.
Though how strange is that? Blondes have never gone for me, or perhaps I have never gone for them. It’s always been that way, or at least since I was an adolescent.
But your hair, I loved it as soon as I met you. And now I want it to stay. I want my pillow to be a reminder of your shampoo, the trail it leaves behind, instead of my loneliness, which stinks only of me.
Now it is quiet. Except for Billie Holiday, singing as you requested.
A few hours ago, soon after you arrived with the mark, we went upstairs and got high. Then as we floated, we embraced. Holding each other, we kissed.
You said kissed like I wanted to do more. But you just wanted to hug, you said. It felt good to do that when you were high, you said.
So I let go.
Then you sat up and began to cry. I was playing with your toes. Like an obedient dog, I did that. And as I listened to you whimper I actually believed tonight would be our reconciliation. I had seen the mark, yet still I believed.
It was because of when we came in my room. It was how you undressed, like we’d been together for years. You wore a form-fitting dress and rose printed underwear I had not seen before. They seemed special.
Then you got in bed and I began to understand. The roses had not been for me, nor had the undressing. Nothing had been.
Then we got high, then we embraced, then you told me how sad you were. You told me how you didn’t have the best job where you could hang out with your friends all the time and always be rich. Not even when you told me what you told me last, about how you had “all this love” to give but no one to give it to, did I realize how dead we were.
Because still, still, I wanted to tell you things. How I was fascinated with your laconic nature. How I adored your long legs – you’re almost 6’ feet tall. How I loved how you kissed. Even the way you laughed when we watched Workaholics was right. It seemed as important as anything.
But I look at it now and I can’t get over it. I asked what it was and you said we’d get to that but we haven’t. Your only acknowledgement was brief when you said, “Who leaves a hickey,” which makes my stomach rot as I wonder now how to answer your question.
So I need to do that. I need to think of what to tell you. I need to tell you I understand what you’re going through. I once believed I had a great love. I too felt I would never find anyone with whom I could share it. I’ve struggled with feeling alone. I’ve been in the place where I felt nothing.
Though now thinking of it, even if I told you about those things, what would it matter? You have to go through everything yourself. And I’d like to say I’ll be there as you do, but that’s not what you want. And even if that breaks me, I simply have to let it.
Now you’re looking at me funny. I need to say something. I need to answer your question. So I guess I will.
“I dunno know,” I say. “I’m not thinking anything, really.”