i. it was either acknowledging we were living in hell and calling it home, pretending nothing was out of ordinary in that relationship we called a residence, or trading in the heat in houston for that of new orleans. hand grenades on bourbon sounded a lot better than the ones i kept dodging, the ones that kept exploding and i kept ignoring. the same ones you kept throwing.
ii. i should have known better. should have known that hoping for pink skies would only lead to you contaminating my favorite city. there’s all these pictures i have from that trip and pictures from other places and times, and i wish i could excise you from each. i wish you weren’t present in some of my favorite memories and i guess this is just one more thing to add to my list of reasons for hating you.
iii. i hated you so damn much, even then, because i loved you. because given the choice between running back to the devil’s arms and cleansing my body in a cerulean sea full of hope and things that that felt a lot like the universe’s promises, i’d choose arms that did not want me every single time. i’d choose hands that broke me more often than they’d touch me. between happiness and misery, i’d choose misery every time, because being happy would mean not having you in my life.
iv. there was this moment on the corner of royal and st. peter where you kissed me for absolutely no reason. something so unlike you, something so much like the beginning. and then you bought me these skull drawings i said reminded me of mexico and frida in front of st. peter’s cathedral. i thought that maybe little moments like this were worth all the bad things. that maybe beauty didn’t come without pain.
v. back home you’d hurt me, only to keep me sedated, only to hurt me again. and i realize this sounds a lot like being drugged, sounds a lot like under the influence, sounds a lot like addiction, like a nasty little habit, and i’m not sure if it was you or me who was nastier. all i know is that i loved like religion, loved you with blind faith and without reasons to. all i know is that you were incapable of feeling anything. i’m still not sure what’s worse, being the executioner or the martyr.
vi. when all is said and done, we looked nothing like love. nothing like the english novels i grew up on. nothing like i would ever want for anybody. nothing like the stories dreams are made of. we looked a lot like raven skies, like hail crashing down, like the split second you can see lightning. beauty is so fleeting, beauty can kill, and i’m still carrying around the damage from being struck.