Monday, February 23, 2009


"Just because I don't always vocalize it, doesn't mean it's not always there."

He told me this, and it was a thought that kept him smoldering like a coal inside my belly. It would fade, then he would say something like this again and it would reignite, tickling me into a giddy, giggling school-girl mess.

But then the day comes when you can feel it, like a switch has flipped off and it's not there - just a lump of coal that won't catch, a stomachache.

It's hard watching something fade, a slow burn that dims little by little and you're not really sure what you did wrong. It's a more intense version of how I'd feel whenever I got a houseplant. I would follow my grandmother's instructions to a T - water it, aerate the soil, put it on the windowsill, move it away from the windowsill, prune it - but still I'd watch helplessly as the leaves wilted and yellowed and I'd wonder what I could do to fix it, to somehow reverse whatever I had done and bring it back to life.

But once certain wheels are set it motion, there are no brakes.

So I've been left for the past two weeks watching this die. Sitting with my hands crossed, trying to be patient, trying not to drive myself crazy reassessing everything I've done to find the spot where I made the nick that became infected into a necrotizing wound.

Another little blip, a tidbit that stopped short before it even had the chance to become a story like so many notes I have written on the backs of receipts and cocktail napkins collected into piles where they'll never find homes.

I'm trying hard not to be sad, or care. "Oh, it was nothing. Just a minor flirtation, crush, thing. You know me. I'll be over it soon." But I'm only explaining it to myself because it was mine. And now it's not anymore.


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