The Word I Will Not Use

Flickr / Porsche Brosseau
Flickr / Porsche Brosseau

I had painfully accepted the dullness of daily life, the cruel routine. I combed back the hair. I boarded the bus. I thought: “Here I am–a living nothing. Here I am–flattened, extinguished.” Exist. I guess.

Then, suddenly, came the word I will not use. It was the hail of frogs, the slow blood from a new wound, the suspended stillness in a car crash. It was a person at a party. A person not like other people. A person born complete. A person born with sadness. A person born with beauty. Whose face has never changed and draws itself into memory immediately–always just distant enough, always haunting. Face like fog. Face like falling sensation in sleep.

I was not prepared. I have become the most sentimental man in the world. Maybe I always have been. I’ve saved receipts and parking tickets just to remember specifics times, dates, and places. The memory of everything, the material of each moment. I’ve saved an empty bottle of lavender soda opened in Toronto. I am sick for certain. On the stand by the bed, there is a name tag not mine, there is a small painted skull and a bottle cap. On the necklace, there is a crucifix and a silver triangle. These totems. Sacred objects. Strange bits of rubbish to be discovered and studied in the future. After dust. After time. Each thing a planet and each memory a moon, forever tethered invisibly.

I can’t write without being cryptic. I’m sorry.

I counted every Saturday until the Saturdays made a month. Then I counted the months.

I circled the third roundabout and felt like a champion every time. I felt the ribbon around my waist at the end of a race. I felt flowers being tucked into my arms. I felt gold gently placed around my neck. I took home the cat hair on my clothes like victory. I took home the leftover Thai food like lucky numbers.

Now the details make a map of a person. All the scenes, all significant. The Monroe scar I saw. The charm between buttons on the first night. God, the green eyes. Green eyes for temple caves, for mountains in Scotland, for sea turtles someday hatching on the beach. I know how the coffee is taken, yes–iced, black, and with peppermint. I can’t have these things leave my mind. I lock them up. The password is ghost.

This is a shared cigarette in bed. This is milkshakes and french fries for dinner. This is cider from London. This is a ticket stub to save. This is Dali’s mustache curling perfectly toward heaven. This is a Cure song Robert Smith never wrote.

I felt like what a movie wants to be. Cue the blonde on top. Cue the kiss at the coffee shop and then by the car. Cue the dream pop in the living room (Beach House – Bloom). Here’s a line from a movie I lived that doesn’t exist:

I could disappear in this and be okay. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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