Takes His Place by Mary Prankster
Says, “Baby, I’m all sorts of sorry.”
Says, “Babe, you know I’m all kinds of sad.”
Says, “Maybe it was fun while it lasted.”
I say, “Baby, I just wish that it had.”
The way music is your clock and traps the passage of time into one burst of sound, that’s how this song is for me now. I put it on His’s mixtape when I was looking for a Mary Prankster song; I wanted to include one song each from Lake Trout (I chose Bliss) and Mary Prankster to remind him of the concerts we saw together. Now that he’s, for my purposes, gone, I can’t stop listening. It’s on repeat now, the only song on my playlist, and I’ve got all the lyrics memorized. “Don’t ask me where it hurts now, I swear to God I couldn’t say.”

And I’m happy with where things are for us, I’m happy with where we left. We never talked about it really, it’s not like there was some monumental decision we made to break up. It’s nothing of the sort. Just this ambiguous goodbye spoken after a night of movies, food, and nothing more than usual. There’s not even that fleeting sense of holding on, though that’s how it was. The two hours out in the rain. It wasn’t raining that hard when we went out there. And we were standing in that corner of the parking garage, for nostalgia’s sake, and holding each other. We were kissing and we kept kissing despite cars passing, despite people walking by. Standing there in the rain, I remember laughing. We were soaked down to the bone except on our torsos because they were so closely pressed together rain just couldn’t get in. He couldn’t see through his glasses, I couldn’t see through the rain. The question came up of course, do you want to go inside? Are you cold? No, no, I’m fine. It’s fine. I like the rain. And I do – I remember our first kiss still. That first night, outside in the sleeping bags, it started to rain. We decided we should wake up everyone else, and I said, wait, one thing first. I kissed him. He asked why, I said I’d always wanted to kiss someone in the rain. So here we are, our last night ever being us the way things were, and the rain just brought things around full circle. Then going home, I borrowed one of his shirts – I was soaked to the bone. It didn’t even occur to me to go in the other room to change because it didn’t feel bad or wrong; I feel so comfortable with him. Now, my first ex and my second ex both saw me in just a bra, many people have, but it always felt awkward somehow, and wrong. With Him, it’s so comfortable I didn’t even realize it’s not a regular everyday happening.

And everyone asks me if we’re doing the long distance thing and I say no. He needs to go to college and move on with his life, and the long distance thing isn’t something I’d be good at either. No regrets. And last night we lived, oh so Buddhist, in the moment. And I’m okay, and I’m not worried. I’m okay. We’re okay. And yet, “If I’m so goddamned strong now, why do I feel so lonely?”