Reconciling love

El Nido

It is like being stranded on an island in the middle of the pacific to reconcile love. Except it wasn’t like that — it was exactly that.

Concrete building, rooms like dorms. Ours was on the 3rd floor. A long winding stairwell up. One guy’s only job was to sweep and mop. The fine broom that looked like a decoration americans hang on their restaurant’s walls. Ends up practical.

Water never really warms in the showers. I craved hot showers even in the summer.

It was that night. When a tropical thunderstorm rolled in.

Pressing my face to the window to see the strikes. It was the greatest force I felt in my life. That and being so close to the waterfall that wind drops pulled hair from my face.

How in cartoons when someone is screaming at you it makes wind.

Reconciling love in the middle of the pacific was just like this. Powerful. Painful. Awestruck. Mystifying. Elusive. Isolating.

Hollowing the bones in our core. Saltwater eroding solid rock. Hidden oceans trapped. Secret beaches. Lagoons. Caves. Tiger sharks lurking. Birds with sounds you hear but never birds that you see.

You are better than me.

You want to be the first to jump. Always want to be the one your friends think of as the “riskiest.”

You want me to be like you — the one who jumps, or you want me to admire you for jumping, first.

I can’t tell which.

How can I jump off land that I don’t know?

These rocks are not like fractured granite. Limestone carves like daggers. I picture you impaling yourself on their ridges. This sends me into panic.

Even the man who took us there, who grew up there, didn’t hike to the waterfalls edge. This must have seemed like a point to you.

Like you were what optimal was. We were not.

My friend tells me one day, “Oh my god, I would be so understimulated if I had to go to the bar all the time.”

Until that point I thought I was a problem that couldn’t be solved.

My hair and nails grow fast after I left you. As if they had been on hold. Damned and then flooded.

I needed a finger nail clipper, my own. I never remember to buy one when I am at the store.

God why must my nails grow now? As if I hadn’t already been punished.

“I don’t know if I love you.” And “it wasn’t about love” — her.

It was about the freedom to jump. “Guilty pleasure.”

We made love constantly. Like an exercise of care to see whether we did or not.

Art Cafe in the mornings and afternoons and cigars.

I haven’t smoked in years. Like a true addict it’s the first drag that gets me every time.

I try to hide this weakness inside me and pretend not to obsess the whole time about the next drag.

But I did.

Jessie Pocock
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7 min
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18 cards

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