Your Name Means Flowering,
I read you from right to left; I wander outside in the grass waiting for you at five o’clock sharp; I inhale the warm dampness of the afternoon rain waiting for you after the bell tower lets out a last evening yawn. I want you to think I’m an intelligent person; yes, and more than that, I never want to let you down. I want to be your star student in every class, one hundred and ten percent on every assignment, the student who you tell your friends about. No, no, I don’t want that. I want to be the one you leave your wife for. No, no, I don’t want that either. Wait, yes, I do, maybe, hypothetically. I don't want you to bother divorcing her, I guess. I want to escape with you, which sounds cheesier than I intend it to be. I want to sleep on uncomfortable beds on the dirt in India with you, stretched out just beyond the sand of the polluted beaches, surrounded by gnats and mosquitoes. This is what I want from you, your fingers locked in mine, caught in the never-still nighttime.
This simile is probably overused, but it’s the only way I can start to describe you: you are, in the realest sense, a drug. I breathe you in, and that’s it, I’m gone. Wrecked. But this isn’t the most profound similarity: no, it’s the withdrawal, the shakes and depression that follow leaving you, being without you. It’s like there’s no joy in the world, like nothing good exists. I can’t explain why your presence and absence throw me into the highest highs and the lowest lows, but there it is.
I wish I could send you this. But I also wish I could curl around you while you sleep and touch your shoulders, feel the slope of your back, hear you murmur to me as you wake up in the mornings. I want to kiss your forehead, your eyebrows, the tip of your funny nose, the tops of your ears, your collarbone. I want to kiss your knees and your toes and watch your squirm and laugh and hear you mumble in German, because I’m the only one who would understand not just the language, but what you were really saying.
I’m sure that sounds boring, wanting morning kisses. To talk to you, to sit outside and smoke and drink coffee with you. Let’s face it: we don’t live in Paris. These are all things I’d want after, anyway. Do you know what I want, really? Something raw, something real; you against me, up against a wall, open-mouthed kisses and hiked up skirts and roaming hands and gasping for air and how solid your arms are. Of course I want things that would otherwise be classified as romance if they weren’t coming from me, but I will never want roses and chocolate and teddy bears from you. Those things aren't as full and alive as you are, and that's all I've ever wanted. I want the deepest part of you, the darkest recesses of your soul, the secrets you never told anyone, the roughness of your chapped lips, the chafe of your jeans against my hands. I want all of you, not just the parts of you; obviously, you are not just greater than the sum of your parts. I want things that there are no names for in English. I want the hamzas of your mind; the unspoken, barely uttered parts. The glottal stop. The implied consonant. The crushing weight of you. I want to pick you up and carry you until the bones of my legs shatter under the force. Even then, I want to limp as far as I can, dragging you with me. I assure you, this is not romantic. I don't love you.
You Have The Perfect Name,
I say it over and over again and let it trip and fall over the edges of my lips; I run my fingers over the worn sides of my notebooks, like I'm praying the rosary; you, you are my new religion. I walk by your house at one and two in the morning with a cigarette in my mouth trying to look nonchalant (I hate that word), trying to be near you. I know the lights are on and that there you are, just past the walls, close enough to touch, watching the news or thinking something profound. It's like a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. You would love this reference; you would laugh. Your eyes would light up and you would lean over and wink at me like you do. You would uneasily twist your wedding band like you do, like it doesn't fit right. Like it itches. Like it's brand new.
Today I stopped by your office and you weren't around; the fat guy across the hall gave me a strange look. Like he knew, like all old men do and never let on, why I was really there. He was tucked among all his old books and, yes, I'm sure he hasn't felt the knot in his stomach for years, but he knows what it looks like. It was pouring rain when I left the building; I heard an airplane. You know more than anyone else that I'm still not over 9/11, and when I told you everything about that day, when tears pressed up against the back of my eyes and made them ache, it was like you hurt too.
What I'm saying is, today, I wanted to see you to ask if you're furious with me. If you hate me, maybe, if you resent that I'm never out of your life. You love your wife; please, don't stop loving your wife. She is the greatest thing that will ever happen to you. Please, don't stop loving her just because sometime in the future I'm going to beg you not to. Sometime in the future I'll be down on my knees and tearing at your clothes, gasping for air and choking on the fact that you aren't going to stay. That you aren't going to kiss me goodnight.
I don't live up to your standards, I'm sure of it, but that doesn't mean I don't want to try. Read: I want to go to your office for help, feign confusion, and lean in close enough to hear you breathe and kiss your neck. I've never done the latter, obviously, but it's all I think about. I know you understand my frustrations more than anyone, or maybe that you feel for others more than anyone. I feel for you, I guess. I want touch the edges of your frustrations, run my fingers over your lips while you cry. I don't want you miserable, but I want you as weak as you force me to be. As weak as you make me every single fucking day. I don't get a break. I don't spend a day without seeing you somewhere, even if you don't know it. Even if you're not in my line of sight, you're there, and I'm tracing your outline.
I miss you when I'm away from you for just an hour. Don't hate me for this. I am probably very sorry.