The train wouldn’t stop for me. There was no one to remind me to get on or off at any certain point. I thought about the homeless men who laid themselves out on the seats. When a subway car is your home, do you forget your name? Do you just become letters and numbers? Perhaps they keep track of days by how many times they’ve passed Prince street.
When I first moved to the city subways made me feel anxious, the unfamiliar smells, the confinement. The anticipation of that first glimps of light coming up the stairs, the possibility that I might be lost, having emerged on the wrong side…when I first moved to the city I was escaping from having emerged on the wrong side of things for over 2 years.
My father got back on a plane to Ohio after having helped me move 3 boxes of my belonging into a space that barely held all of the shit I was hanging on to. Sometimes I felt like I filled more space just by being the emotional person I was, collecting everyone elses axieties, sadness, joy..and somehow turning it in on myself. It was my fault that I was not happy because I couldn’t make other people happy. I could already feel the walls bluge and pucker when I inhaled.
Your heaviness pressed down on me, even when you weren’t there. That’s what it felt like those last few months, when I fell back into love with you. Or maybe realized that I was never in love with you in the first place.
Maybe that’s what love is. When it comes back around the second time, and you both feel it. Or you realize what the capactiy of being together actually was. A bed had never felt so empty.
There is something about stepping into an empty subway car. A part of me knows that I’m not actually alone in there. The stories that it holds, the weight of the world people have carried through the doors. What they have left behind.
Maybe that is what happens when you haven’t been touched in an excruciatingly long time. The people who do touch you are strangers, on accident, and you fall in love with them for that moment, lingering, drawing closer just by breathing heavier.
Maybe this isnt a mistake and I keep coming back to you because, in some way, I’m hoping you’re touching me not just because you have to.
Until then, I wait in bed, and I write better here the more I want for you to devour me in the only way you know how, raw in depeltion of the hot, wet places of you.
I used I think I needed a notebook.
But there are nights the words come through the spaces of light and dark where half of a sheet covers me and I still sleep in one of your old tshirts.
Some people would say I’m crazy..that I’m holding on to something that unraveled years ago.
Maybe I am crazy. But it keeps the words flowing.
Some mornings I write better with coffee on my breath and hair unwashed, pinned back from my face. I hardly care about makeup anymore.
Just let me write in these little spaces. Let the words come. Even if they are insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Maybe someday soon there will be someone who asks what I’m writing about.
Maybe I’ll look at them and smile into my palm. Maybe I’ll get very close to them with that coffee on my breath and they will forget what it was they asked me.
When I first met you I needed to tell you everything. I wanted you to know every thought, every movement, every step. I wanted to explain myself to you. I wanted to possess everything that I felt. My guilt, my joy, my worry, my anxiousness, my wanderlust..my love.
I clung on to everything, in the same way I do sometimes. White knuckling. Losing oxygen. Intuition scared me, basing every choice and outcome on how I woke up in the morning, whether I could look in the mirror through the flecks of dry toothpaste splattered like a painter’s aftermath.
You became my very definition. And when you were gone, I started over.
And I start over more and more now, every day, perhaps.
I put my face so close to the mirror, sometimes, after I first wake up, wondering, what is in the depths of those eyes, noticing how the tile feels on the souls of my feet, how it feels to pull my fingers through the knots in my hair, how the bed became so dishevled when I was the only one sleeping there.
You taught me that nothing is permanent. That love isn’t such unless you feel it in it’s physicality. Love is red. But love is also white.
I turn the TV off before I go to bed. I’m ashamed to cry now. But mistakes now have a different feeling between the pads of my fingers. And most nights I let my hands wander the terraine of my body just to remind myself that I am whole.
You watch these teenagers on the train, holding on so tightly to each other, fingers hooked into pockets, leaving no space between themselves, as if they just can’t get close enough. What happens when they let go?
You are so young, I want to say, slow down. Stay here, relish what you are feeling, be confused and excited, but slow down. You are going to forget the little subtleties. You will look back and try to remember exactly how he liked to trace the lines on your palm, or how you got nervous and didn’t want to seem too wanting, so instead you’d chew on your lip or let your hair fall across your face.
Save some of yourself for yourself, don’t give it all away at once, you want to say. It’s the first time you will remember what it feels like to lose some pieces along the way, the sweater you left in his apartment, the Metrocard that he stuck into your back pocket, the way you touched his face, what parts of your own face you let rest on his body.
Now I look and remember you, even when I’ve outgrown you and then you appear in my inbox, by accident, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s some kind of sign. Stars won’t lead me back to you. Technology doesn’t lie when I type in your name.
That knowledge of knowing every last detail of a person. How intuition somehow brings you back, somewhere there in the wires and filiments, a spark of recognition. That second right before I fall asleep when that prick of you is just briefly there.
I wrote back. I know you won’t answer. But part of me will check every day and wonder what if.
God, that was love. It’s still there in the marrow of my bones.