There was something so poignant about it. So final. I cried when I walked away, down a hotel hallway that twisted and turned for miles. I cried at the space in between it all. The stuff that grows like a scarf you never stop knitting. Pooling at the floor near your feet, growing longer and more unmanageable every day.
Work and life and careers and goals get in the way. It’s no longer magical when you’re not just two kids with no scarves yet. You weave in their own thread; it becomes a part of you. But you lose the stitch, and it’s too late; you can’t stop and pick it up. All that living robs the magic. Makes you calmer maybe, and just more sad. Frustrating because this is the sort of living that makes you forget the magic. Ouroboros. What was once standing on the corner, eyes locked, everything unsaid, nothing unfelt, becomes knowing when to leave. Knowing it gets duller. This person doesn’t exist, it’s just a slightly changed, aging version of that person with a list of stuff of their own. Lives aren’t rife with possibility. You’ve flown the coop, you’ve got to keep flying.
He had some of his familiar compendium of ticks, but his eyes seemed different and body slower. His smell was the same, oh god, exactly the same. His lips, too. His teeth shifted slightly, but he moved the same. But this time it wasn’t exactly the same, it was just softened. A pair of old jeans you are just slightly too big for now. But you’re always dreaming of how good you felt in them. If I could just squeeze into them…Can I? I want to.
His touch wasn’t as narcotic. Was it? Yes. Maybe. I think so, but he didn’t care anymore. His kisses were sweet and good, but his distance was apparent and my craving for connection wasn’t there. I could have done better, I’m sure, but I knew how it would end. Those sparks just can’t last. He didn’t want that. I liked it like I liked an old movie that was once a favorite.
A dream, all a dream. It crushes me that we’ve all been flung out from the roundabout on the playground in our own separate trajectories, and we’re not coming back. We’ll never fight and we’ll never date and we will never dance and never vacation and he’ll never show up in LA for me again. He’ll never come visit and I’ll never sleep in my car with him. I want to feel that again, so badly, but I won’t.
I’ll never end up in Brooklyn, so mad I can’t breathe. Won’t show up the next year, so intoxicated by being together that we can’t breathe. We won’t meet at a bar for a drink, expecting nothing and end up kissing and staring and craving and feeling and evaporating into some electric nightmare. It’s not about the untouched, raw people in us now. It’s our jobs and how we pay our bills and choose our lives. We’re no longer kids defined free of care, through testing dreams and desires and all the little things. We are defined now by the path we take in all the big things.
And I cried and left and walked away because for a moment there it was just us, just two scarfless kids wanting one another and feeling one another. Needing one another. A snowy hug, an appreciation for a touch on the thigh. Just who we were once, the secrets we had and the big, wide future ahead of us like an empty plain. Now we’ve built our cities, and paved our streets and I erected my shrine somewhere in there for him. And I’m not sure how his city is; he might not even be building one. He doesn’t open all the way. At least to me. He shut down somewhere along the way. Chose this path. Pretends he likes it. Like we all do. We all pretend.
A few minutes there we lived without that; still a game, still a chase. Still a distance we long so much to bridge. Laughter: we laughed together. More than I remember. Kids. Snow. Braving it because there is something there and always was. Will always be. Whispers in private, spoken with two different languages. Gone when the game is won, a short round of tag.
Unsolved, floating out there somewhere in the stuff between.