on couples

In the evenings we play cards. He sits with his back pressed against the wall and me, crossed legged in the middle of the floor. He has been living in this apartment for seven months but the bed is still in the living room and boxes stack against the far wall. He says daily it’s, only temporary. I come over sometimes in the evenings and bring a six pack of beer, we don’t eat together. I think it’s something couples do and we are not a couple. We are only a couple of people sharing the same space and time and bed every now and then. There are distinctions to be made.

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I’ve started to wonder recently what or who draws those lines in the sand around the proverbial relationship conversation. How do we know when we are in the in or on the outs? There is no golden rule though I think we all make our own. I have a friend who says, when we stop sleeping with other people, then we are together. I have another friend who says, unless he asks, we aren’t together. And I have myself who will stretch any situation to unreasonable lengths to tell myself whatever it is I want to hear that month. He opens another beer and he deals the cards and he tells me, “It’s your call.” I want to go stick my head in the refrigerator and ask the milk cartons what the fuck is going on here. I want to go for a walk and find a new town, a new block, a new someone to come to home to. I want someone who wants me around. 

Is it the same though, to think not wanting someone gone is the same as wanting them around? There seems to be a slight shift of ownership between those statements. Perhaps they same the same thing but very differently or vice versa. I think too often we forget to pay mind to the way we have set up our lives, as if there is someone else to blame besides ourselves, besides the same person you wake up with every single day, which let’s not be confused, is ourselves. 

The evening is hot and it comes through the open window, muggy and oppressive and feeling very June. When the game is over and the beers are empty he takes me by the hand to his temporary mattress in the middle of this temporary apartment and we make temporary love until we both fall asleep.