…this love…

22/02/2012

this. love.

it is all summer and warm sunshine and airy breathlessness. it is all winter and long cold nights and pale tired moonlight. it is everything unspoken, quiet, swirling. tempered steel. white-hot embers. worn silk on bare skin.

it is brave words, watery smiles, raw emotions. it is chapped lips and dirt under fingernails and tangled hair. it is tear-stained cheeks. and breaking hearts. and drowning, drowning, drowning.

it is warm bodies, foreheads touching, pulses racing. it is gentle laughter and knowing smiles and secrets kept. it is his hand in hers. and her head on his shoulder. until the very end, the very end, the very end.

it is all those years from now. greyed hair. wizened eyes. wrinkles tracing the passage of time. and the memories, like whispers dancing on ears. ghosts of fingertips trailing, trailing. the scent of perfume lingering still on the air.

and knowing.

nothing ever tasted as sweet.

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i was not prepared for the moment
you breezed into this bar,
that air about you
quick, determined strides,
all business, all efficiency, all casual indifference
a handshake, a kiss, a hug
for everyone else but me and
i cast my eyes away, downcast gaze
i’ve wished for you all night, now i’ll wish you away
away away away
like all these long months apart and still
you walk into this room and sit down across
from me and all the resolve i’d told myself
i’d built up over the seasons and thousands of miles
waiver with just one smile from you
and suddenly the bottom of my beer glass
is so much more intriguing than anything being said
but there is so much talk going on
around me, stories half told, unfolding
and i feel lost, aware of
every single minute i’ve been gone
i am a passing thought,
a lingering perfume,
a small footnote in your story
you have moved on, are moving on
and i am still swallowing the lumps
in my throat at your words
your beautiful words your beautiful smile your beautiful eyes
you’re beautiful like i remembered
though i’d hoped it was all a trick
of my mind and the miles
but now the only trick
is the one being played on my heart
as you sit across from me
sipping your beer so lazily
while my pulse hammers in my ears
but then you’ve always had
this effect on me
fuck you fuck you fuck you
for being everything i want but can’t have,
for not taking a chance on me,
for acting like nothing’s changed
when we both know very well
you’ll only walk out of my life again
once you’ve finished your drink
and i am not prepared for that

i cannot help but think that
the fact that my thoughts
do not drift so readily
back to you
that my heart does
not ache for the chance
to talk and laugh and smile with you
that i cannot recollect
the feeling of butterflies
fluttering in my stomach
when i used to sit
across from you
is a sign, a sign, a sign
i cannot help but think, then,
perhaps my love for you
has ghosted itself away
that is until, my dear
you walk through the door
you catch my eye
you walk my way
you smile, so genuinely
and i come undone

it comes.

unbidden.

when you’re not looking.

that tug on your heartstrings. that hollow ache in your stomach. that skip, skipskip, of your pulse.

washing over you, racing through your veins with every beat of your heart. you breathe in shaky, unsteady, shuddering. and then you are no longer here.

no longer in the present, but off in some distant memory. some bright sunny day, walking through the sticky city streets. some dark wintry late night, driving through the snow waiting for the car heater to sputter to life. and you are all at once lonesome and eager and sad and desperate.

desperate for the warmth you miss. the warmth of the sunshine beating down on your pale face. the warmth of his touch on your bare arms. the warmth that grows in the pit of your belly when you are well-fed and rested and content.

it comes.

unbidden.

when you least expect it, it strikes one chord after another. major. minor. four-note progression.

it paints your world with colours forgotten.

it tastes and smells and sounds like nostalgia.

this break has been long. looooooong. in a way, i suppose, it was needed. in another, it was the last thing i wanted.

i am anxious to return to classes. anxious to return to the routine, even if it is taxing. anxious to return to the thrill of newfound purpose. i have been utterly unmotivated these last few weeks. surely, i am to blame. i think i convinced myself, before the holidays even arrived, that my time off would be dreadful. it hasn’t been dreadful, but it has, perhaps, been squandered. oh, folly.

but, no more. there is one week left, and i plan to use it well: yoga, gym, reading (reading, reading), friends (old and new), lots and lots of espresso, cooking, mixed-cd-making (for new friends that leave you grinning), writing (my oldest friend of all)… many of the things i did my first week off (so long ago now it seems) but this time with gusto! and genuine appreciation for the time i have to do it.

but still. i am anxious. restless. for more than school and classes though. for life. outside of my parents home and my part-time job at the big orange box and my self-imposed solitude.

i guess i needed this excruciatingly long break to finally see so clearly what was there all along.

i’m worrying my bottom lip
but it’s not from worry
planted firmly between my teeth
so my lips aren’t free
to form the words
i might say to you
and the liquid courage
i’ve been sipping
all afternoon
is burning the roof
of my mouth
in want, in want
in want
and all i want
is to talk with you
hear your voice
the stories you tell
leave me leaning in
across this table
to get a little closer
and i’m worrying my bottom lip
unconsciously, thoughts
drifting to your beautiful mouth
as it stretches wide in mirth
i smile too, grin stupidly
liquid courage burning
in the pit of my stomach
i reach across
the table to
touch my fingers
to your hand
but i’m really thinking
of what it’d be like to
kiss you…

a soliloquy of quiet thoughts pass through my mind
none of which pertain to you but shhhhhhh
i’m just lying to myself, just lying in this mess of my own making
and a summer breeze floating in through my open window
air that is both warm and cool, fronts colliding
that smells of rain, hints at a coming thunderstorm
lightning lights up the sky, dark with the cover of the mid night
and i’m sprawled out on my bed
watching the shadows as they play across the walls,
chewing my bottom lip in the absence of these thoughts of you
in the absence of these arms of yours
and growing old alone is not the curse i would have expected
and falling into a restless sleep to the sound
of the freshly falling rain is almost soothing
and this is something i can do, i swear
getting over these expectations that have weighed me down now for so long
this is something that i can do, but i still have to remind myself that easy is not best
i blink lazily, i roll onto my side, i let slip close my eyes
i do not hang on to these lingering traces of your memory
i do not long for that lingering scent of yours on my pillow
and outside my window the rain is washing the streets clean
and here in my soft bed my breathing slows, but i will not dream of you
i will not dream of you
(i dreamt of you)

tomorrow! tomorrow! or rather, today, i suppose as the hour is now after midnight.

i’ve been eagerly awaiting the first of june. it’s my grandma’s birthday, which is nice indeed, but tomorrow, today, the first day of june is also concert night in The City. i am a-tingle. i can’t sleep! i love concerts; i love the raw energy of live music; i love the feel of the bass in your chest; i love the sound of reverb; i love to sing along. i am antsy; i am restless. i am sure to be in awe; i am sure to be delighted; i am sure to stare on in wonderment (and maybe something that is a mix of envy and longing, oh but for such lovely brown eyes!).

there is too much to be done in the meantime! to sleep! (to dream of achingly beautiful melodies and equally lovely live renditions).

today was a good day – delightful in its unexpectednes; in its bright cheer; in its soft breeze and promise. i had the day off of work, and woke this morning with the thought that i would take a trip into the city. i had retired to bed last night debating a simialr thought and i suppose my subconscious made the decision for me – from the moment i threw off my covers this morning and set my feet upon the floor, i knew a walk-about in toronto was in order.

i was rejuvenated, still smiling from the previous evening’s walk in the warm night air, under a bright moon and low-hanging stars, skirt swaying, arms swinging, heart soaring. i felt like another stroll, this time along queen west and through kensington market. i felt like trying on girly dresses and looking at cute shoes. so i slipped out of bed and stepped into my favourite skirt. i pulled my hair back and put on some sunblock. i grabbed my camera and my ipod and i hopped on the train to union station.

the sun was shining bright and the streets were busy. people were about, enjoying the weather on their lunch breaks, sitting on park benches and under trees and by fountains. i strolled happily, stopping at shop windows to look; stepping into stores i’d normally pass by. i tried on clothes i would have scoffed at in the past, glad, simply, for the chance to do so. i felt, very suddenly, and very satisfyingly, independent and mature. like an adult; like a woman. 

it was a new feeling; it was a nice feeling – like i’m finally coming into my own as a person. and for the briefest of moments i could see my future before me, i could reach out and touch it around me, and it wasn’t terrifying – there wasn’t that devastating clenching, twisting knot of dread. there may have even been the slightest hint of longing, though maybe with another city in mind.

yes, it was a good day – delightful in its reassurance that there is a path for me; that i will find it in time; that it will fit my curves and lift my spirits and kindle within me that desire to be the woman i am meant to be.  i am eager.

sometimes there are moments even in this dreary existence of mine when i am filled with a kind of quiet optimism. when the sunlight shining in through my bedroom window falls across my face and i can rejoice in its warmth; in its hope. when even sad, lonesome songs turn the corners of my mouth up in a smile which hints at an unspoken understanding that it’s all our past aches which give meaning to the soft glow of our delights. when I can taste, bittersweet on my tongue, the electric potential, sparking and arcing on the charged air. when the greatest pleasures are derived from the simplest of things.

today was a day of simple pleasures. my day off, i rose early and spent my morning with the warm earth about my feet and toes, digging in my garden with my grandma. i sipped tea and did laundry so that now, when i finally crawl into bed, i will have soft, clean sheets to wrap myself up in.  i spent an hour on the phone with a too-distant friend – we spoke of the joys of tomatoes and music. i soaked in the hot water and washed the dirt from my skin. i took the time to moisturize. i used bobby-pins when i put my hair up. i slipped into my favourite skirt. i went with the good perfume instead.  

i made my way over to my best friend’s house. i sat on his bed, at home in the mess of his room; he told me i looked my age – in that moment i felt every one of my twenty five years. it felt decidedly satisfying. he showed me a video from a time when we were completely unaware of the other’s existence  –  it felt strangely intimate, introducing me to this unknown part of him. i marvelled at the goofy boy on the screen before me, knowing he had grown into the man i love so dearly sitting beside me. we decided on thai for dinner. we ate spring roles and shared our meals over laughs. it was food for the soul. we wanted starbuck’s, but settled on tim horton’s because of the time. we found ourselves at a starbuck’s anyways, where we sat in plush, red, wing-back chairs. we schemed and dreamed. i admired his profile when he wasn’t looking. we went to a movie – like so many saturday nights in the past. we drove home, unspeaking, and i dropped him at his door.  there was a light rain falling – it was warm and smelled of the dying days of may.

there have been so many heavy days of late. it’s nice to have this respite; these moments of lightness – when it’s easy to take the love that comes your way and feel contented, satisfied. i wish this love were enough to satisfy me for all time, but then that would be too simple…