July 16th, 2009

X's.

I woke up today in Danger's bed. It wasn't the first time I'd been there in the recent months, and probably won't be the last. His hand was rested where he always liked to put it, running his fingers up and down my lower side in the same way he always did; a curiously different way than anyone else ever could, and one that still gives me goosebumps even after all these years. Still we haven't kissed or fucked since that night in the dungeon, but I think about it sometimes. I think about it sometimes when we're sitting on his couch at three in the morning watching twisted movies from the 70s and he puts his hand on my leg. I think about it sometimes when I'm drinking by myself at Manhattan and he comes through the door with his goofy smile and is never afraid to move his bar stool closer to mine. I think about it sometimes but stop myself short of disappointment to remember that his signals are a jigsaw puzzle that when put together probably resembles our hearts portrayed by Picasso. He says he misses me yet he never calls. He touches but he never kisses. He loves me, this I know, but it was only a few months ago that he was telling me we would never be a more official version of what we already are. Now that the knight in shining armor that he was cheering for is burned to a crisp by my fire-breathing dragon of a heart, I wonder if he'll ever have the courage to pick one side of me or the other, or if we'll just have a dead-end love for each other until we drop dead or get hit by semi-trucks.

So I get out of bed to take a piss and check the time, and there it is, white letters on a screen spelling a name that burns my retinas and makes me want to drop to my knees and cry like a shaken baby. A message from the boy I'd hoped I wouldn't resent but found I couldn't resist. "Remember when we nailed that lady with a water balloon?" the text reads, and I literally can't believe my eyes. Part of me is shocked by the presence of the message in the first place, and the other part of me is even more shocked by the content of it, or lack thereof. At first I shut my phone and grunt while climbing back into Danger's bed, but I lie there with my eyes wide open, unable to decipher what this means and if/how to respond.

"...No, I forgot." is an option.

Another option might be "Why the fuck are you texting me asking if I remember something that I obviously remember because it happens to be a fond memory of someone I'm in love with and someone who just last week was supposed to be in Burlington with me but changed his ticket to New York at the last minute and then never even communicated with me about why, even when I politely asked for an explanation? Why the fuck are your first words to me since then a bland reference to a memory that you've already cited about three times in previous messages to me because of your lack of anything else to say? Why does it seem like your only memory of me is hitting an old woman in the back of the head with a water balloon in the Tenderloin? Why the fuck aren't you here with me and why the fuck do I still want you to be?"

I continue staring at the ceiling and wondering what's going on. Why am I in Danger's bed and why is M. texting me at 2:30 in the morning when every word he communicates to me is a dagger straight into my chest? I decide the smartest move is to not respond and place my phone back on the night stand. Thirty minutes later, the alarm sounds and Danger is out the door, with me following behind not ten minutes after. It's raining, and my bike is tipped over.

I've been in Burlington now for over six months. I'm as depressed as I was when I was seventeen years old and trying to slave my way through the hell halls of high school. I am stuck in a city overpopulated with ghosts of my past and the ones from other cities haunt my phone and email, too. What it leaves me is confused: why can't people be honest with their feelings? Why do people send mixed signals? Why can't people communicate properly when it's requested of them? How is it that people can stomach moving on from an intense relationship by shutting it out completely and pretending it never happened? Why do people tell you they love you when really they never want to see you again? It's been raining for weeks now; why won't it stop?

I put my files on a hard drive and decide I'll work from home today, unable to concentrate in my office with the lingering smell of broken electrical equipment and the conflicting sounds of three teenage bands playing simultaneously for Rock Camp downstairs. I exit holding my bike and look out onto the haunted city before me, confused and bewildered by all my unanswered questions and scared of what demons may be floating overhead, waiting for their awkward interaction with me down the sidewalk. I push off and wonder why it's raining and what happened to my happiness.