Stay out of my places.
Stay out of my world, stay out of the places I’ve etched out for myself, the people I’ve claimed as my own with an invisible scent like a cat.
Stay out, please.
Stay out of my places, my rooms full of selvage, my favorite cherished spots, the places I go. I let you have your places, the dimly lit restaurant we used to go to where I’d drink buckets of red wine and dip my fries into Bernaise. I let you have that stupid bar I always hated. I let you have it. I will not step a Manolo or an Ugg boot or a flip flop sandal into those places because I know they are yours.
Once I said that if a genie granted me three wishes, as genies are wont to do, I would ask for a magical memory eraser that I could use on myself, where I could grant myself selective amnesia. That way I could walk past you on the street and you’d be stunned to see no trace of recognition, no flicker of panic in my eyes. I wouldn’t know you from the proverbial Adam, and that would be good. But genies only ever grant three wishes – why is it always only three? So perhaps this would fall by the wayside of my other wants and selfish needs.
I’d ask my friends for a favor – a favor that if they see you, they don’t fucking tell me. I don’t want to know. I want you to stay out and leave me alone, leave me sitting pretty at the top of the hill I made for myself in just a few months. I’m the queen here and I don’t like to be toppled.
So please, stay out.
It’s common courtesy, really, the kind of courtesy you reserve for those you really don’t trust, those you really would rather never see again.
It’s enough to have dreams about you or have your name pop up when I’m not expecting it – those things are easy to weather and push aside, but honestly, I’d rather you just didn’t exist at all.
So stay out. Stay out of the rooms you know I float through, trailing perfume like a ghost. Stay out of my bookstores, my Target aisles, my highways. (The most horrifying thing I can think of is seeing you at the stoplight next to me.) Stay away from those I hold dear, because they too want to spit in your face a bitter stream of venom. I know you’re just around the corner daring me to bump into you, and you know it will kill me. You know that behind my bad acting, my icy façade, I am losing it.
Stay away, stay out, stay gone. I would do novenas and sage cleansing and a thousand Hail Marys if I thought that would help, but I know it won’t. It’s a big city, but then again, it’s very small.