I’m Tired Of Reading About Us


I’m tired of reading about us: the nuance and complexity of our fusion spilled out in black and white like this sort of thing happens every day, to everyone. I resent the way Davis exposes the quiet superiority you feel over me and turns it up to volume ten; I loathe Franzen for holding a mirror up to my eagerness, reflecting how obvious it is to the rest of the world and how obvious it is to you. I hate Sedaris for exploiting every night the city breathed differently because you and I were moving through it together, why would he tell everyone about that? Our insecurities and vulnerable parts typed up and mass-produced and handled by commuters and students and pedants, it’s exhausting.

And I can’t even turn on the radio anymore without hearing our stories stretched out over sound waves; one band asking if you’re going to leave and a second, more confident voice insisting you’re capable of loving me if you’d only try and one more still that urges us to be young, to embrace our infant blood and each other and it’s no wonder you feel smothered, no wonder this is moving too quickly. It’s all we can think about, all we can hear, all this noise.

When we turn on the television to witness two better-looking versions of us recite our affections almost verbatim, understudies learned in pillow talk. When we rent an old film and there we are, ancient characters created preemptively to act out our arguments like someone knew we were going to happen before we were so much as a thought to anyone, let alone to each other. When we go to the movies and watch paid actors mimic the eyes and the lips and the hands on a big screen while strangers take voyeuristic pleasure in knowing the curve our two bodies create. When the audience applauds or cries or laughs at our intricacies and I have no choice but to feel naked.

We are either the world’s greatest muses or its most common lovers — this is what I think whenever I read these words or hear these songs or watch these images — so I instead imagine the missing parts that have yet to be written: the way your body smells after two days, the taste of the back of your teeth and other places most will never find their tongues, the perfect sour of your breath after a too-long night that lasted just the perfect amount of time. I imagine the static that forms in my stomach and courses through every capillary whenever you brush against me accidentally and the texture of your favorite sweater and the militant veins that protrude from your arms like they’re dying to be noticed, touched. When I think about these things — the symphony of color in your eyes and what might be happening behind them — I know they haven’t got us completely figured out. I know that some things belong to only us.

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image – D. Sharon Pruitt