series of shitty events: letter #1

to the kindest boy i’ve ever met,

we met in a waiting room

me there for new contact lenses

you there with your cracked lenses

and the chairs were crooked, a lukewarm lime green

legs less even than the receptionist’s teeth

and you chose the one beside me

three other empty seats yet you chose to sit beside me

perhaps it was the least janky chair of them all

a minor tragedy if you were to fall

but to this day i never found out

so we sat there awkwardly

silent

two strangers breathing in sterile air

the large tank humming across the way

and the monster goldfish going glub glub in flaky water

its existence testament to the pregnant tension in the air

a mockery

and it looked as if it were laughing at me

direct eye to bulging eye contact

and suddenly i wanted to show it true power

to see its tiny life drain from the palm of my hand

its sickly inaudible gasping

“fucking bitch”

a strange look crossed your face

one of confusion and fear

a look i’d soon become very accustomed to

and i pointed to the fish, unable to get the words out

you looked and laughed

it was the ugliest fish you’d ever seen

and so we talked

you asked me why i was there and showed me your glasses

saying you had fallen on your face during a contemporary dance class

but told your father you were hit in a fight

because no son of his was soft

and that his sons were real men

and i told you to disregard him

you smiled and said you always did

it was a kind moment

then i recommended contacts

it was a strange habit of mine

me constantly suggesting things i’d done before

perhaps to feed my oh-so-never-ending sense of superiority

“i’ve experienced the world you could only dream of”

or perhaps because i was truly interested helping you

i told you how convenient they were

and how they were good for me

how they substituted the massive bug eyes i got from my too thick glasses

saved me from the laughter and ridicule

and you told me if i liked my glasses i should just use them

fuck everyone else

but you still considered it

you wished for 20/20 vision, but you always forgot your glasses

and I said surely you could see without them

so, of course, the usual routine of “how many fingers” ensued

you getting them all right

until i put two fingers behind my back

because i knew that would stump you

and you laughed calling me ridiculous

but i never forgot it

perhaps my lack of transparency was a warning

my need to hide from you, to best you

a “beware”

but you mistook it as a “welcome”

a “fall in love with me” dare

and so it began

your two years of heartbreak

three, two, one

action

to get things straight

i never loved you

only found intrigue in you until i caught you

like a fisherman off season

and released you because i didn’t want you

just loved the thrill of chasing you

and it was easy at first

us both being absent

the home of our relationship, constantly empty

we were busy

with friends, with work

only truly seeing one another once a week

and speaking ever so often

and it was a secret affair

our clasped hands breaking quickly apart upon seeing others

but of course it didn’t last

and eyes opened once it ended

ironically you also saw yourself as a fisherman

but one who was starving

who did not see the value of the fish on his hook

until it got away

and you were a foolish fisherman at that

others telling you there were plenty other in the sea

but you never stopped chasing me

you wasted so much time

waiting

round 2 came about six months later

and by this time you were emaciated

but it was a mistake

a cruel move on my part

you see, i was in love

deeply in love

but not with you, darling

and you reached so sorrowfully

so longingly

that i could not help but to bite

and so i did

you took me in again

this time, properly

i was the kind of fish you would have photos taken of

of you standing, proud stance, me in your arms

the kind of photo you’d see on douchey tinder profiles

and you tried desperately to take good care of me

so i could take care of you

so i could fill the pit in your stomach that was loneliness

too bad i was poison

because while you looked at me with loving eyes

all i could see was her

this time around we lasted one week

you sharing deep, intimate secrets with me

wanting to us to live together

be with one another forever

and me wanting to run

i became a ghost

and the poison started to eat you alive

until the final moment

my announcement at last

you begged and begged for me to stay

despite all the pain i had caused you

but that was it

and i heard your heart break over the telephone

and your voice harden for the first time

you were a man now

wouldn’t your father be proud

once upon a time we’d talk about god and the possibility of a heaven up above

i’d always thought it preposterous

laughing at the notion of an ever after

but you clutched firmly to these beliefs

declaring that our spirits lived on

no matter what state they’d left the earth in

i had then hoped you were wrong

because if we were to die in that moment

i would have sent yours to the pearly gates in a wheelchair

your friends said i’d broken you

that i had changed you to the core

and that you are no longer the sweet boy

who falls in love so easily

i hate that i had done that

and i am so sorry

i was selfish

cruel

and know that if i could do it all over again

i would have never spoken to you

you had believed me to be your clarity

your guidance

but your nearsightedness never saw past the charade

and instead i blinded you

because i was just as nearsighted as you

and all i cared to see was myself

i truly wish i hadn’t done that

but i can’t change the past

and all i could do now, years later

is hope that you are better

happier

and i hope that one day you will find someone

who will return the love you give

you once told me you wished for 20/20 vision

hindsight is 20/20

take care,

TL

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