Lover’s Tangent

By Bronwen Spolsky

I don’t know. / Maybe you’re beyond it. / Beyond this.
I don’t know, maybe you, you think about what happened once or
twice a week and it’s kinda like thinking about a bad kiss or a
shit birthday present or something. The thought’s there but it
doesn’t really mean much. And you’re pretty distant from it but
of course, you still remember. It just can’t affect you now. The
memory just rolls off of you, like, like fucking water droplets
on a duck. Not that you need a stupid metaphor to get what I’m
saying. But I think I have the right to be selfish here. I mean,
I was with you for a year, or a year and a half rather and I
think I owe it to myself. I deserve to speak my mind- especially
because you spoke your mind all the time and I shut my mouth and
hung on every word. You remember that, don’t you? That took some
effort, honestly. I think I liked listening to you complain
about your art but when you talked about bullshit at work, that
was annoying as hell. But anyway, maybe you’re beyond it. Maybe.
But I’m not. I’m not. How could I be, really? I romanticized you
in too many ways too much of the time. I can’t even pass the
convenience store without a lump in my goddamn throat. And I
still can’t figure out why I keep the books you gave me where
you written on the index page some ridiculous embellished quote,
right there in the binding. With the ink bleeding to the page.
It said something like “love you to the moon and back” but
much, much worse. And don’t get me wrong, I know why you left
me. I know why. But it still rubs me the wrong way, you know?
The “what if” just irks me. It’s like I see you everywhere. It’s
like your name is spelt in my alphabet cereal or I see some girl
who looks like you from the back and I pull this crazy stunt to
see her face to only see it’s my coworker and I just terribly
embarrassed myself. And then I have to go into work and see her
and pretend I can remember her name. But I don’t. I really
don’t. / It’s absurd. And sometimes I think about other people
like me. Perhaps, there’s other whack jobs just like me who are so heart broken and misunderstood. And maybe those crazies are
out in the streets murdering their great aunts or cutting their
toenails with scissors. I don’t know. I just think that this is
how people go crazy, fucking crazy. And I don’t want that for
me. And I certainly don’t want that for you. It would be
terrible if you’re talking to Jenny, you’re still friends with
Jenny right? Well, you’re talking to Jenny and you say, oh yeah
well, my ex has gone mad and she goes, how so? And you tell some
story about me on the news and I’ve choked my cat to death or
something. That would be terrible. And I’m not close to anything
like that. I promise. That’s normal, I think, to feel sad about
someone you used to love. Or someone you even just miss. It’s
normal. But to see you here now, even to see you see me here
now, I can’t help but think you’re not beyond this. That perhaps
you’re just swimming through your days just like me. Just like
me you’re getting up in the morning to the same alarm clock, the
same beat up pillows and you might think for a moment I’m in bed
with you. For a moment you think I’m going to lean over and shut
off the alarm. But I’m not there and the alarm keeps going.
Simple things. And I notice them now more than ever. And I know
people get over shit like this. Sure. You have casual sex for a
couple months and then you move on. And that would be good for
me. Sure it would. Because I know I can find someone else but I
don’t want to. I don’t want to. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry that
you have to hear me admit it. But that’s how it is. I’m sorry.

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