Puzzles (I’m free writing again. . .this is dangerous).
My thoughts aren’t coherent today. I keep trying to figure out how to write down what I’m feeling, but I can’t. I’m just going to start typing.
I’m not sure how fair it is, for me to keep someone around just to make my quiet moments less lonely. As if my ego rests at a much higher price than your peace of mind, your sensitivity. I’m more attracted to you when I can watch you from across the room or from the other side of the glass wall at work. As I’m serving pizza to the customers, you stand covered in flour behind the window tossing the dough up, like some malleable frisbee. Never meeting my eyes, your dark hair poking out from beneath the hat all the cooks have to wear. I love how you wear it backwards. Your eyes are fixed on the dough as you stretch it, brows furrowed in concentration, and your jaw line- strong, but still balanced between boy and man at your twenty years of age- set firm. Your arms lean and toned, from labor. Burn marks, like suicidal slashes, criss cross up your forearms from where you seared them on the ovens. You showed them to me in the car one night; it was my first time noticing them. I wanted to kiss them first, but shook the thought away like a piece of silicone wrapping stuck to the static on your finger tips. It doesn’t want to leave, so you shake your hand harder until it let’s go, drifts into the trash can. At around 5’ 7, you stand 5 inches taller than me, so I think I decided you weren’t a man yet. Maybe I’m scared that you are though, maybe I’m scared that will mean I have to be a “woman”. I’m twenty-one and the sound of that scares me. I see a future I’m not ready to see.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t remember what it was like when things were good. Before you decided it hurt too much to be close to me, if I couldn’t be what you needed. If I couldn’t commit myself to the idea of “us”. I used to think I loved how that sounded. . . “us”. Being one with another person, plural becoming the singular, uniting soul, joining forces. That’s all just the poet in me, though. There’s not much truth to it. I loved the idea of “us”, I’ve spent enough time daydreaming about being able to be a partner in an “us”, a her to a him. Not just with you, but with my him. The one him. The story is poetry, rose-colored romantically in my mind. It’s not real.
Did you use to glance up and grin at me as I passed by the window, before swinging open the door to the kitchen? A shared quiet, until I entered the roar of pizza pans sliding, bells and phones ringing, food times and carryout names being shouted, boxes sliding this way and that. Or did we never have those moments? I’m prone to fantasizing and I forget if things are fabricated in my mind or raw life. You tell people you love me, but can’t even see me in the room. I pretend not to see you, but you’re there. You’re here, in my mind. In my feelings, muddled. Unable to untangle them.
That’s what scared me about “us”. Our “us” would never be complete, never feel quite whole. Together there was so much understanding, yet so much that could never be understood. As an item, we were an enigma. We would be mystery. I love a challenge and the suspense of a thickening plot, but I despise a story without closure. A question left unanswered. A mystery never solved. So we keep on like the Cold War, never try facing our feelings, but just begging for space.
Please solve me, darling.
^ ^ I was being serious. . . I’m actually a server at a slightly more upscale-type pizza place, it’s famous in the Ohio-Northern Kentucky and St. Louis areas. Check it out if you’re ever in the Midwest.