The scars on her wrist asked “WHO AM I?” Story of her life, of a thousand and one almost suicides. Every moment I could be I was by her side. Kindred spirits wandering far and wide, I made a promise that if she died I died. To which she replied, “All in good time.”
I remember her eyes. I remember the nothing behind them when she looked at me. I remember saying goodbye. Slipping into dreams, I see the times I laid beside her and said goodnight. Heaven was in her arms; I used to wish first for her to be happy. Now I only wish to die, for her to lay beside. One pill from the bottle, just to dream, so I won’t cry.
“You’re lying to yourself.” I’d told her I was worth nothing again. She wormed a tickling finger into my ribs, trying to make me laugh. Sad smile. Flashing amber behind her brown eyes, somewhere deeper. Like seeing her bright heart flashing on the outside. I kissed her cheek. My lips pressed nothing. There was nothing. I am nothing. A wisp on the breeze. Smoke trickling away with the extinguishing of her burning ember, bright star...
Darkly swirling smoke, story of my lies. Phantasmagorical images always torture my mind. Cigarette between my lips. It is a cold, clear night. Tucked inside my black construction jacket, my body is impervious. Perfect pinpricks in the black blanket of night though, stars in my sky, pierce my mind. Memories of a thousand darker nights Raising the cigarette to my lips, I draw deeply. Quiet bubbling calms my heart.
Rings of thick hookah smoke, one two three. I pass the hose. Trickling vapors float up in thin white lines, wavy slices through the truth, through reality and time. I realize a caterpillar has the tongs in hand, turning coals, turning to me, turning away. “Oracle?” ask I. “All in good time” the voice is neither his nor mine. I shrink, becoming a mouse-me, what a man is on the inside when he cannot clear his mind. Many legged, smoke-ring spewing Oracle turning to me, “Guilty if you feel, then flee. When calm at heart come back to me.” But I am fleeing, never to return to beneath his tree.
Running. Three gunning for me. One two three. I leap barriers with lead feet, not fleet. Guardrail, street now, the bright headlights are a thousand tiny suns, but these suns are crashing, winking out, and still tumbling forward to crush me. Swift black feet crashing behind me, coming to get me. Coming to bite, claw, shoot, cut, tear everything I am. Primal fear pushes, whips lead legs forward. Screech of tires, thuds, pursuers gone? I turn to see, to confirm, to breathe relief and suddenly I am a ragdoll, thrown in the air by a grill not filled with coals. Painless though, serene, eyes closed as I land softly in a padded chair... a chair that vibrates with the screech of the tires, that sits behind a steering wheel that directs a car now perilously whipping around a city corner, desperately seeking grip on wet pavement. Windshield wipers are going about their orderly, choreographed business as random rain disturbs their transparent plain. I am running.
Long sweeping turn ends. Mirrors inches from buildings. Desperate I run from phantoms I do not know. Desperate, I take another turn. Ideas like beasts invade my mind, nightmares conjured in the loss of lost time, pursuing now, they close on my lie.
Frightened as the turn ends but I do not stop. I do not stop, the car stops, but I do not and I tumble from it, breaking glass with my head, meeting paved sidewalk shoulder first, crumpling into it, sliding along like horrific sled, sliding along and into bed.
But it’s not my bed. It is hers. Despite that, I am alone. “All in good time”.
I roll over and wrap the blankets closer. Inhale deeply. But they do not smell like her. They have never had anything to do with her. Tears come to my eyes. “Sorry I woke you baby,” she says, lying back in the bed. I cannot get this image of her out of my head. I wrap my arms around her, holding her tight. I ran from everything to get back to that night. “I’ll never let you go,” I whisper; now you’ve heard my lie.
I wake again, alone, but now it’s where I am supposed to be. If you know how it feels to lose everything, she was everything to me. I dream now every night of her, fighting to get by. To lay that moment alone with her, on the last night of her life. I know the ending. When we wake up we will shower, kissing in the steam. We work for ourselves, and make love despite the way the clock hands lean. We will walk, holding hands, three blocks, three turns away from home. I’ll kiss her deep, and hold her close, “I’ll never let you go.”
But then I will, and she will walk away across the street, never to reach the other side. Broken, I will hold her close and look for the gleam I love behind her eyes. I will wait for the small sad smile and the, “I’m fine.” But she would never lie.
So now I sit, alone forever, unless I take my life. Not to be, but to forever only dream, or die? I kiss the only picture I have of her, because she was camera shy. Tipping remaining pills down my throat, I wonder if I’ll ever see her again. Laying back on the pillow, hers still next to mine, I swallow all my fear, and pills, and in the picture see the gleam in her eyes. Now a voice, inside my head, it’s hers, and says, “It's time”.