Return to Sender
Your body always knows not to let you get out of bed when there’s something to not look forward to. On this particular day my body doesn’t want to do much at all. In fact, for the past year my body has been running in the opposite direction.
More and more hair has been washing away with the shampoo every morning, my back hurts, my knees make an agonizing grind with every step up to the apartment, and my skin wants to ditch me like a bad date. All this and more everyday as I unearth myself from under the far too heavy duvet. Lily is an expert at accessorizing and organizing. I actually learned how to fold clothes the first time we did laundry together and I’ve never loved t-shirts this much. Although me and the t-shirts still don’t get along.
There’s something about the folded t-shirts in the drawers that makes me stare at them for a minute longer before I put on my usual sweater and button-up. I wonder if they’re some sort of commentary, the folded t-shirts. Collected over the years from different festivals, charity events, promotions, Memories just sitting there waiting to be picked out and revisited. They all smell like her now. Her and the fabric softener she uses liberally every Sunday. But you should see the way she looks in them! I think she can tell by the glazed over look in my eyes and almost taunts my primal tendencies with her patented t-shirt-and-black jeans combination.
It was around this time last year that we had one of our last lazy Sundays. Late morning lust permeated by the smell of sweat and take-out breath followed by trips to Ikea, to-go cups in hand. She has this way of talking about furniture and shelf-organizers that could stir your soul. Meanwhile stroking my back, lost in the endless coffee tables and dressers. It was those moments where I wanted nothing more than to grab her by her flowing hair and smash her beautiful face into the wall. Her face was too pretty and I couldn’t have enough of it. I wonder if she had moments like that. Perhaps she too wanted nothing more than to asphyxiate me during every crusty-eyed orgasm. I guess I understand how Porphyria felt. But those Sundays were tamer than that. We shared the quiet, ebbing and flowing through our imaginations back into our reality with each other.
There’s no comfort in the nostalgia this morning. The drawer’s been replaced by cardboard boxes taped-over twice. Too bad my hands can’t smell through the address labels to Connecticut. She’ll still be a while in the shower so I guess now’s a good time to talk.
In the end, the only hand-written letter that mattered was the one I ignored. Turns out, some seeds of doubt can’t be uprooted. My friends tell me I should go fishing but I’m still criminal to the one that got away.