My sister reminds me on holiday I’d take roadkill pictures, that’d end up blurry, a self-censor, because the after’s not something you can capture. Not explainable, adequate or photogenic.
Then, death was a make-believe marvel that Bible stories disproved or made points of, and it was an other person place which the pocket of my stomach was yet to inhabit. Similarly, I’d take fairground rides, awe-full, off-peak to queue skip, without bolts and seat-fittings invading eyespace. And if dad said it was okay it was okay.
And my bravery is a moment push now, a fluttery seat belt turbulence, in which I sometime regret analysing Genesis, John, Jude, with a graduate skepticism, until close-read passages were unworkable poems evidenced as undo, don’t do, did.
There’s solace in the nothing. But where does the skin go?
Our love, if that’s what it was and we said that it was but I’ve found words to be take-back-able the next day or on the phone later the same day as saying them, was a snippet, compilation tape, best of, highlights, skipping terrible bits. But I remember them.
You told me to be sure but I never have been and I’ve eked out over-time in your bedroom, at your computer desk, in the knowledge it was hot outside and we should be out in it but we’d rather be inside instead. And if I had a gut feeling, I had a hundred of them, and so few days off, and tellings off.
I got gut feelings and tried to start sparks like girls in movies using Brownie skills, igniting fires in backyards and campsites. But I couldn’t complete a sentence past a film recommends.
And the missing conversations ache less because they’re metres closer to a restart.
If we took photos the same day each year, one date in August, or March, or July, would the crease in your forehead deepen like a timelapse video, and your eye colour fade, your sclera look sticky the longer we left? What else would we learn, besides that we were almost together, but it took ten years of skirting photographs, sitting one seat off the other, speaking online alternate months if there was something to say. And I’d invent things, but lies are all in delivery and, even typed, mine wobble, are the bridge that shouldn’t swing but does.
Our history is not the sort of thing you compile into a line like, “We poked on Facebook,” or, “We met on Match,” or, “We were on the same bus once.” All I can say is, “I made decisions. I re-made them. We saw the Star Wars re-release together and dated more than twice. Saw Radiohead. Slept in hostels. Moved in then out then in. I hope we’re not a series of snapshots, near misses, catalogued in a book, designed to make you cry on screen. I want a fatter history than that.”