The fog had wrapped its arms around the western part of the city -- the part of the city closest to the edge of the world. In the creeping hush that followed, she made a decision. She waited for her heart to break, but it never did. She breathed out, her shoulders lowered against the falling sky.
“This is indulgent,” says my inner monologue. “This is indulgent and you are wallowing.”
“Let me have it just a little bit. Please don’t take my feelings from me.”
“Well, all right.”
“Sometimes I am more in love with the idea of loving someone.” And the moment she said, it instantly became true.
“I know what you mean,” he said, squeezing her hand.
They were both staring at the ceiling, imagining shapes and signs and stars in its texture. She wanted to say more, but the words crumbled away.
“I really just don’t want it,” my inner monologue says, “I honestly feel better without it. Didn’t you notice the way I became sad? And what changed?”
“You make a really good point.”
“I’m trying to be as honest with myself as possible. This is more strife than it’s worth.”
“More than that, I’m just not ready.”
“There will be others.”
“Oh, I’m not worried about that.
“Well, that’s good then.”
She watched him move, and if he had been an ant struggling to shoulder a burden of food, she would have flicked at him with her finger, just to watch his body disappear into space.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked.
“You’re not really like that,” my inner monologue says. Except it’s not really a monologue -- it’s a very real dialogue.
“I know I’m not. It feels like that sometimes.”
“There’s nothing wrong with waiting until you get exactly what you want.”
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting.”
“There’s nothing wrong at all.”
I nod to myself, taking the sentiment in.
In her fantasy, the curtains rippled as if caught in a sigh -- the only evidence of her moonlit departure from the hardwood floor bedroom they shared … in some glorious home in some glorious land. In the fantasy she knew would only ever be that.
In reality, it was a few lines of texts, issued hurriedly before she could change her mind while he was drowning in his bed on the other side of the city.
She wondered if he would even read them, or if he’d wake, scattered, and stumble to the bathroom to urinate, then carry on with his day, unable to see the Sunset shrouded in fog. And then when he did read them, she imagined he’d just shrug and sigh. She hoped he would respond but also hoped he would not. She hoped his heart would break a little, but she also hoped he’d understand, and that he’d already be reminiscing about their fumbling drug-dumb fingers and the day the rare San Francisco sunlight was made of syrup. She hoped he’d smile whenever he heard that song. She hoped he’d think about her body. She knew he’d understand.
He was not bad for her, but he was not good either. He just was. And this revelation alone was pretty empowering.
“These are such mind games you/I/we play with me/you/us,” my inner dialogue says.
“Yes they are. But I’m getting better.”
“We are getting better.”
“One day there won’t be anymore. But that day is not now.”