We will be that cliche. That’s how we’ll understand each other, and the world us, and we’ll know what we’re doing, which actions fit us exactly: rain kissing, foot popping, candlelit proposals, Tiffany rings, devotion that won’t end, belief that can’t stop.
And when we’re sick, when we have pneumonia, and arthritis means we’re not limber like we were, and we’re paranoid matches start fires which kill us, and we’ve stopped thinking anything is unending, that there’s such thing as ultimate, that the concept of forever exists, we’ll still match our hands, find leg space, lay down, and I’ll follow your neck like it’s sermon and you’ll recite whispered prayers like repetition gets anything but comfort, which it doesn’t get now, but the smell of your washing power I have in place of a compass and your ring on your wrong hand is my Inception, reminder, my Leo DiCaprio.
I won’t waver. Change, you sense like strangers’ star signs, like the contents of meals in restaurants, spice slipped.
Once, we got drunk together. We forget it happened, won’t mention imprints the other left.
I’ve been alone, often, and in six years you’re the only. In bed your legs look like Alicia Silverstone’s on the cover of Clueless and don’t just say that’s a viewpoint. I’ve seen you standing up too.
I like your back best, shirts skimming shoulder bones, unkempt weight. We’re not even programmed to remember what we’ve seen most, necessarily. I worked at Subway for six years and all that’s left is the smell, lingering in pits of cotton.
I watch my trailer door, even when you’re not coming. I want you to come, believe I’m not the 2006 version. That was years and so much has changed, that I know you feel in contours, cards. I’ve read your blog. And if James Van Der Beek’s due a revival, why not me?
When you went missing, I didn’t wait the prescribed hours the police station asks you wait before you report it. I couldn’t when I knew, the way my feet sense snow, or you second guess endings half way through films. I felt it like a yogic moment, when the cool down sends you to sleep, and the sound that wakes you back up defines the dream you were having, and I dreamt the door locks undid themselves and I couldn’t find the faces of anyone entering, but the murmurs were the voices of reporters playing in the background of other TV shows, signal interrupted, overlapping like crudely stuck collages, photo albums.
When you went missing I imagined the scenarios I’d seen in films: planes crashing, kidnappings, other families with your name over them, tied to me like the branches of ancestors we never logged, didn’t type up on our internet trees or add on Facebook. I pictured you falling in shops in ice cream aisles or fridged food sections, clutching arms and outsides of hearts or appendixes. I tried your phone three times each minute, redialing before I could leave messages, my mind empty like our vows which didn’t need saying and the thought of forcing them was the remaking of a hit TV show in another language, not entirely true.
When you went missing I criticised your upbringing and mine and the links we had in the years leading to it felt less solid like chocolate full of air holes, worth half the money. I sent out prayers even though they’re easy to ignore like email, and I wished on cookies, upholstery, park benches. I pinched salt like seasoning might save you. Eventually, the candle vigils I labeled hopeful were a peace offering to gods or spirits I’d seen through and angered for it. And the two sounds that could make a day matter: keys dropping on kitchen tables, the ringtone for your number.
Jack says, “I don’t get why terrorists in films, hit men on TV, have such nondescript accents, could be from any country in Europe really, and sometimes it’s not implied where they’re from or why they’re doing what they are.”
“What’s worse,” I tell him, “are the sideline story lines, the inconsequential ones, taking place next to kidnappings or shootings, that involve reality TV show actors and their real life girlfriends trying to make names for themselves as the series curtails, 3 seasons after the leads left, and we already know they couldn’t get everyone back, that cutting deals was tough, that Chad will be back wife-less and Nathan’s in less episodes then everyone else, so we can only assume he’s dead, or partially buried at the least.”