Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Creating Dead Ends

Did the dream come before or after I knew you liked girls? I called you one lazy afternoon, crying over my sudden affection for breasts. You listened, unsure of my intentions, and reassured me. I wanted to hold you, feel your copper skin against mine. You couldn’t begin to understand my conflict.

You gave me gifts: shirts your mother bought you but no longer fit, cookies sent over from Korea. I tried to give you compliments, but always at the most inopportune moments: in the pool at the hotel, sprawled drunk on the floor of your apartment, after I accidentally deleted your graduation photographs.

All I know is how I wanted to watch you shave in the bathtub for hours, all lathered up in foam. Your legs were always so smooth, I thought it a miracle you could be human. You would shower with some of the others, make out in the hot tub while boys watched you. But my shyness stopped me then. I looked away, ashamed of my yearning, the hunger I felt.

We stood under the streetlight as I looked at your lips. Whenever that song plays on the radio, I remember the summer we embraced and how your shadow faded away. We drank too much, slept too little, and confessed nothing. One morning, I woke on rose-petal bed sheets and stumbled out of your apartment into sudden sunshine.

Now I wonder if my dream took over reality and none of it even happened at all. Maybe, like so many other things, I just saw it one night on TV. In the end, I was never yours and you were never mine. I told you it felt like we were breaking up, that the breaking felt tectonic.

This should make things less difficult, you reasoned. Now the whole world could be an option. For me, that just created more dead ends.

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