Maybe It Wasn’t Real For You, But It Was For Me


I finally did it. I wrote it all out. Did you know that if you write about someone fully, they either leave your heart forever or you lodge them so deep inside that there’s no getting them out? I don’t know if that’s true, I just made it up. But I wrote to get it out. To bring it to the surface. To rid my body of it.

Last night I dreamt of two snakes. One bright red for the hurt that hurts so good and one I didn’t see because it snuck up behind me and bit my neck. It hurt me in an unconscious way, and the bite took some time to settle. My skin didn’t turn to fire immediately. You know, I always thought we’d turn each other into fire, but the good kind. Maybe I was wrong and there’s no such thing as the good kind, because fire is fire and it will always eventually hurt—the bad kind of hurt.

Also, what I said earlier was a lie. I didn’t write you all out. I’ve learned that’s not actually possible. I’ll keep finding you in crevices, indented into parts of me.

Remember when I told you this wouldn’t end well? Remember when we made out in a car in the middle of a street like teenagers itching to be alone together? You stopped us, and I’m still not sure if it’s because you knew it was wrong or because it really just wasn’t a good time. I didn’t sleep that night because my whole body was on fire with your fingers and your hands and your arms and the whole rest of you, and I knew there was no going back. Things got murky so quickly after that. Remember when you told me that we’d talk forever? I thought it was sweet, the concept that we’d be friends for a long, long time. I felt you in my bloodstream quickly, and when that happens, I tend to be tethered for life. We were bonded through pain and anxiety and honesty, and what’s sweeter than that? Then I found your lips, and they were sweeter than that.

I wrote something for you as I sat on a balcony in Paris on vacation with someone else and it’s still one of my favorite things I’ve ever written because I wrote it straight through, no hesitation or breaths in between, no pausing to spell check or make sure the sentence structure worked. That’s how it was to know you—no pausing or hesitation or second guessing. I was hooked. I wrote about you on that balcony in Paris and as the sun came up, I shared it with you, and you heaved “I love you” at me again. I remember saying “fuck” out loud and then immediately typing the words right back because that’s how I felt it: immediately.

And maybe none of it was real and you just needed a distraction from your heartache so you could heal in the only way you knew how to heal, and I don’t fault you for that because I know the way you were hurt and I still hate that. Maybe it wasn’t real for you and you just liked passing the time by stringing words together with me in the dark. Maybe it wasn’t real for you, but sometimes when we talked about your pain, I felt like I could see inside your body where you were all tense and holding onto things you should be throwing out the window. I felt like I could see your fists clenched and your jaw tight and I just wanted to wrap myself around you and watch you unfold with ease and curl into me instead.

Maybe it wasn’t real for you, but I really felt like you had never given this much of yourself away, and maybe you were only doing it because I was harmless and out of reach, but I stopped being harmless pretty quickly. Maybe it really was just about a fuck for you, and I think we both know that part would’ve been mind blowing in all the ways, but maybe it’s better in our heads where I couldn’t disappoint you and you couldn’t lose interest. Maybe this is all too much, but just so you know, it was all real for me.