In the final stages of editing what I would like to call draft 1.5 of I’m sure 8 or 9 this is one of the seemingly finished passages from, Love is Not a Town (the series of vignettes I have been working, slaving, creating, crying, laughing, and puking over for the last two months.) Enjoy, I hope.
Sometimes she looked at me like she could trade it in, like I could be anyone, but I just happen to be me. She would run her thin fingers along my jawline and hold my skull in her hands after I kissed her as if she was second-guessing the kiss itself. Sometimes when I spoke her eyes fell through me, looking at someone that was never there. I would pause and the quick silence would reel her back in. She had one foot out the door. She had her head out the window and was never entirely listening to the real world. She existed in her own universe. It was one of the very things that made me fall in love with her. In her presence I too felt out of time and space, as if the world was of no consequence to us. But there in lies the problem. It was always her universe, I had entered it and it was never ours.
She invited me in, held me by the heels, and kissed my mouth. It was only a matter of science that the rest of the world end up dull and faded, as if the colors weren’t coming through properly. So first I fell in love with her universe first. Then I fell for the way that I felt there, the place that I held. I liked how she saw me. She made everything more interesting, more creative, and more sexual than I had ever known it to be.
It’s strange really, I mean, who we become when we are with someone else. I think in best possible scenario we remain ourselves, maybe just a magnified, glorified version. I was tapping into some unknown potential. She was my muse, she was my daylight, and she was like nothing I had ever seen in my life. I was thinking about all of this while watching her near the window at the front of our apartment looking out over James Street. She was listening to Joni Mitchell, A Case of You, on an old record player we bought at a garage sale on Hennepin in the spring. I could tell she was thinking of something sordid because of the way she was breathing. She was perfectly still aside from the light rise and fall of her shoulders. At this point her frame had begun to look whittled away. I could see bones in places where there used to be soft corners. I knew she wasn’t thinking about me. She was somewhere else entirely. I took a step trying to remain invisible but the creak of the floors gave away my presence. She looked over her left shoulder and smiled at me. I didn’t know what it was saying and before I could hear it she was looking back out the window. I couldn’t always read her; sometimes she was in a different language entirely.