He asked the bird to stay, if just for a moment, stay. “But I’m a bird,” she said laughing mirthlessly, “that’s the one thing I can’t do”
Posts tagged that day.
Some nights he could still smell the campfire in his hair, and for a moment it was enough, it was enough…
"like sinking your hand in a bucket of ash." "like swallowing air"
“yes,” the boy would say “that was what it felt like.”
it turned out loving her was the lightest thing in the world, it was the losing her that he couldn’t lift.
that day | a series
She stood there waiting, looking up, and hating the hell out of herself for it. The boy hadn’t chased her for years and she guessed that was because he never had to. You see she had always come back, but on that day the girl turned slowly on her heels relishing that for once she wouldn’t be waiting, wouldn’t be the fool.
so there she was, descending into a city she loved away from the man she thought she always would. it’s funny really, the carelessness of desire, it’s ability to erase our most basic promises. but nevermind the past, on that day her seat-back was up, her eyes bright and the girl was falling falling 15,000 more feet into a new life.
"This cold is breaking us apart" the girl whispered just loud enough to see her words form into a cloud and float slowly across that frozen lake to ruffle the boy’s two month old haircut.
"then what did he say?" they asked the girl.
"i don’t know, he never came back"
The girl rested her forehead on the cool plexiglass of the airplane’s window. Her delicate breath turning the circle of fog into a heartbeat, growing and shrinking with each sigh. She had come west to fill the emptiness in her with quiet mountains and the boy’s promises, but the mountains ended up being a desert and the boy a liar, and so here she was again, looking out a window at the world and wondering where she would fit in.
A long retired nile file, small felt bunny, 16 movie tickets and a regrettable tatto, the girl had always saved things from their time together. She told the boy she liked physical manifestions of their past happiness, they reminded her it was real. Now, on that first cold night in December the girl smiled, thinking how she had replaced a trunk full of him with one little bus ticket away.
For the first time ever, the girl didn’t (or wouldn’t?) recognize the boy. The forehead she had kissed, the cowlick he was always trying to hide, his smoke-blurred eyes and quiet stare had become uncomfortably foreign in the back of a rain-streaked cab. He had been a brief crack of light under the door of an otherwise dark existence, disintegrating her sadness into neat happy piles. But on that day and in that cab she looked at the boy’s face and felt the sad pieces of her congealing again, and she knew finally, predicability the light was gone and soon he would be as well.
They told her it would take some getting used to, that she would learn to love the things that hurt her, but the truth was she already loved the thing that hurt her and he wasn’t picking up the phone.
"What do you remember most about her?" they asked him.
"I remember almost everything," he sighed, "What I can’t seem to forget is she had café au lait eyes”
She told him she’d do it. Wrote it on mirrors and left crumbled notes in his glove compartment. The boy would laugh his smug laugh almost crying, “no, no, you can’t, you won’t” and she whisper softer, always softer, “i will, i will, i will…”
She was always doing things like that. Her coy smile telegraphing the inevitable acceleration of her size sixes. The boy had chased her up stairs and down, across streets and through busy restaurants just to catch her smiling and breathing heavy. He would lie saying, one day he might decide to stop chasing her. The truth is he never did and on that day, bounding up the escalator he prayed she’d be there again (she wouldn’t) but he hoped, he hoped…