And suddenly he stopped laughing...
"I never knew you."
I licked the salt off of my glass and when it had completely dissolved on my tongue, I answered.
"What are you talking about?"
"You don't let me know you. You never did. I slept in the same bed with you every night for two years, but I never knew the dreams you had. I don't know what you're afraid of, I don't know anything. I want to know the real you--I wanted to know the you that's in those books you spend hours writing in. I wanted to comfort the part of you that withdrew for days and laugh with the part that found hilarity in the mundane. I couldn't not know you. If I had stayed, it would have broken my heart."
I apologized but had nothing more than that to offer.
He was leaving soon anyway--by land less than 100 miles.
But in my heart, in our hearts--that distance, although denied, was
i m m e a s u r a b l e.
They were the only wall I felt safe hiding behind.
They were the wall I could hide behind or take flight from the top of.
And they were mine.
i know this letter will probably beat you to houston, but there is just a little something i want to explain--about me, knowing me and the books that you are so envious of...
the books are nothing more than ink on paper--words jumbled together...
some into lucid thoughts, some suspended on glittering ribbons of whimsy, some thrown as viciously as accusations are spat. But they are also my freedom, my catharsis and the bars that hold my personal demons imprisoned. Caught in those pages is my madness and yet they are the well I draw my sanity from. They are just words, my love, but not words for you.
i gave you what i could of myself. i wish, sincerely, that you could understand that.
But that was a year ago.
A month ago, I received a telephone call,
letting me know that you were off again.
could you come into town...
And so a week ago today, we sat in my car.
We had our hearts on our sleeves and the honesty of too much to drink helping the words over our lips. We laughed and reminisced, for once not playing 'what if'. And then, again, the laughter stopped.
You spoke, through tears, of love, pain and going away...
this time to California.
I sat silently, my mind reeling with too much liquor and too many thoughts. I was trying not to cry, not ignoring you...
"Anger, look at me. Please."
So, I did and my resolve almost held. A single tear coursed warmly down my cheek as I remembered part of a conversation:
"The moth. Do you remember the moth--at my mother's house?"
Of course he didn't.
"I can't believe you're still going on about that moth, for God's sake. It was a moth."
"Tell me if you remember."
For some reason, this was, at once, incredibly important to me.
"A fucking moth, Anger. An enormous moth, but a moth--yellow, orange and green...
on your mother's screen door. Better?"
He remembered, but it wasn't better--not at all.
I saw beauty in the amazing color of wings
tattered from fighting wire mesh to be closer
to the deceptive and fatal allure of the light.
The beauty that would serve only to kill it.
The colors that reminded me of...
another broken promise.
"What? What can I say?"
"You can listen. And you can look at me. You will always break my heart, Angel."
for deep thought