Listen To Buddy Holly: True Love Ways
And For Good Measure…. Dream Dream Dream
A Conversation With The Wind
You’re sitting there drinking wine and you’re remembering the first time
The first time you looked at the clock, at the time it is now, 10:44 pm, and you thought,
“I can’t sleep. It’s so late.”
And you’re wondering who that person even is and what’s happened to the person who used to begin living every night at this time
It’s a slow walk into the misery of clarity
And you’re sitting there thinking, if I knew this is what clarity was, I would’ve stayed in the clouds
I would’ve stayed high, and I think Time is a bastard, and why did no one ever tell me about this?
You were born 13 years after I was, but I like to think that my memories of you aren’t new. I like to think that I have the upper hand… in the most hospitable way.
I was waiting for you, and when it was time, I went to the place where they were thinking you up, and I helped them pick out your pieces.
They wanted to make you better than you are, and I said, “No.” You’d hate that. You’d get bored.
I picked out a lot of the wrong pieces for you because I knew that if you ever found who or what you were looking for, then you might stop looking, and you might want to leave like I do.
One of us needs to stay.
You sat at the table, scratching in your puzzles, the ones that I don’t understand.
You sat there, and you said, without looking up, “But what if the almonds are what’s wrong, and they’re killing all the bees, and how can we ever know if we’re doing the right thing?”
Inside, I was screaming, “You fucking need me!”, but I forgot to move my lips, and so, you never heard me. I keep forgetting how ineffective my thoughts can be when I don’t make them loud enough.
I thought about the time I met the cynical Cezanne collector, and how I hated him so much. I wanted to steal all of the hats off of the people in his paintings, and I wanted to give them to you because you look so clever in hats.
I have this non-binary fantasy of us. It happened the night that you wore my dresses. In the morning we mused, “Did we start out with me fucking you in a dress and then end with you fucking me in a dress?”
It was like when we met and you told me that you were a lesbian trapped in a man’s body, and so I might’ve fallen in love with you right then and there…
And if you’re actually reading this, which is doubtful, because the links that I send just float away in our text threads like loose pebbles, this is the part where you’re saying, “But I never said that”, and you’re right, because you didn’t.
It’s also the part where you realize that it’s not always about you, and that stings for a second, but on a scale of 1 – your worst tattoo, it’s like a 4, and so you move back on to thinking about you again. Because I’ll be fine, right? That’s what you’ve always liked the most about me. My knowing age. My strength. My resilience.
I remember dancing on the beach under a Peruvian moon. Being sung to. Buddy Holly. True Love Ways. I remember stepping barefoot through shit. We didn’t realize it until we’d already tracked it back to our rooms.
That wasn’t you either. Neither was the time that we kissed at the top of the Eifel Tower, ran through The Bastille singing at the top of our lungs, or the morning we watched the sunrise over the Red Sea. It was my birthday. Thirty-three, I think.
I moved through the desert on a camel one day. Its name was Michael Jackson. I looked up at the pyramids, wondering which was the “Great” one, and I was unimpressed. You were in bed somewhere on the east coast with your arm wrapped around a girl whose name you never knew. In fairness, she didn’t know yours either, but she’d glance at your drool on the pillow for the next couple weeks…and she’d think about it. But she wouldn’t remember.
A man grabbed my ass later that day. When I turned around and hit him, a cloud of dust puffed wildly from his shoulder. I couldn’t stop watching it be carried away into the bright sunlight. “I am Muslim”, he said. “I’m sorry. I am Muslim.” “No. You are the dirtiest sunshine that I have ever seen.” That was all I could say.
You weren’t there that time either. You were sleeping in the grass somewhere in the Basque country. We kept missing each other that way. A girl woke you up and she offered you a shower. You kept telling her that you weren’t famous, but she knew someday that you would be, so she gave you a blow job. And you were the cleanest you’d been in weeks.
I was on the back of a motorcycle racing through the streets of Bangkok. Someone else had paid my fare. An Australian. He wouldn’t take his hat off. He gave me head with his hat on. He got into the bath with his hat on. He bought me a Gucci purse with his hat on. He didn’t know me at all because I sold that thing at the airport. The guy at the airport asked, “Won’t your boyfriend be upset?” I said, “No. He’s got a hat.”
I don’t know where you were that time, but I imagine you were probably in high school. Or cutting high school. One of the two.
One day the wind told me that it blows only for me to throw caution at it. That’s the day that you finally showed up.
The next day it tried to change its story, but I wouldn’t let it, and I wound up my arm like a World Series pitcher.
I threw it as if Disaster were clawing at my back, running with me a toe-to-heel race, wanting it for its own. I threw it with the gum splitting abandon of a child’s new teeth ripping through soft, pink flesh. I threw it just to watch it hit the wall and break into a million little pieces.
You ran ahead of me through the woods. I watched the cold, fresh water lap your ankles as you ran through the stream that we’d sunk our faces into the day before. You stopped. Turned around. Your gaze sought out mine. “I’m Ready!” You screamed.
I knew the distance was too far. You were a spec on the horizon waving your arms for me to see you. The wind wasn’t there. It was still sore at me. It said I’d never understand that it doesn’t blow for me. It blows against me.
And so when I’d gathered up all the haphazard that I could fit into my hands, when I’d collected years of scorn, wild laughter, tragedy, and lovers lost, when I’d smashed it up into the tightest ball that I could form, I threw it anyway.
I know you thought that you were ready for it. Your arms stretched out in front of you. You cheered me on and flashed that broken, perfect smile of yours. I couldn’t see that far, but I knew that your eyes danced for me and flashed a paler shade.
I let go the mightiest swing of my arm. I watched all that I had held onto so tightly strike the nearest tree and splinter into angry shards. They flew back at me and cut my face, my arms, my legs…my hands.
My skin dressed red with blood as I watched you turn and walk away. Your head down. Your departure slow. You didn’t know what had gone wrong, and you were so sad, and I wanted so badly to take you into my wounded arms. But you were too far, and I knew that.
The wind blew; my face a mask of burning strings. Salton screams without a voice blazed trails down my cheeks.
“I blow against you. Not for you. You only heard what you wanted to.” And so the wind died. I looked up for you and you had already disappeared.