I went to our old apartment
with that funny giant plant in the front and I ate a tart on the cement
steps. We like to eat cakes in celebration. The birthdays, the weddings, the funeral
s. I keep thinking of things lately. Trying to reconstruct the life that went to pieces 21 months ago.
That cool day we met. I came back from out west to home. Everybody happy and reminiscing about the fun times, the wild times, the sad times. We went out, college-drunk, to celebrate my arrival and you drove. You, stranger, looked at me with eyes dialated. Asked me to dance and called me beautiful. Your friend grabbed my leg under the table that fall night sweetie. But I liked you.
Do you remember? On the couch, I needed to sleep. You tried to wake me with offers of toast, orange juice or tea, nicely, five or six times before I joined you.
It was so cold that winter sweetie. We found a way to make the best of it. Every night together in my warm, tiny room on that mattress on that floor. You went to school and every day became the same to me: Newspapers, cigarettes, peanut butter and pea soup again. You came back with your optimism and your shiny truck and we ate the finest food in town.
Do you remember? After all day making love, suddenly you had to go. I said, ‘no, please no’ but you said ‘no’, you had a test that you could not fail. I called you ‘Asshole’ and you slammed the door.
We persevered and we made it sweetie. Everyone in China Town knew us. You, a 6’3 Chinese man and I, a blond in the grocers and bakeries, trying to pronounce the words for your favourites. Or, did they know us for other reasons: Like when we used to scream at eachother in their restaurants, how I used to storm out and leave you with the bill.
Do you remember? When you called me ‘bitch’. When you threw me against that wall? When you locked me in that room? When you spat in my face?
I tried to leave you. I tried to date. But everyone I spent time with I could not love. Because they were not you. You sent me over 200 notes that year. They said: Sorry. You loved me. You accepted me. You missed my body. You were seeing a Doctor. You were cured. I hoped so much that it was all true. I only wanted you.
Do you remember? Standing on a snowy mountain-top? A French guy blows his trumpet and we share a kiss. We were the only people in the world.
Another spring and you got a job and moved to the city. I followed you a year later. I made prints with your sister, cooked won-tons with your Mom, learned Cantonese for your Grandma. They made me feel like more than a girlfriend. They made me feel like family. We found an apartment, I found a job. I spent a hot week painting and sanding in my underwear just for us. It was perfect.
Do you remember? The night he died? I held you as you cried. I looked after his son as you helped his wife, your sister.
It was so hot that night, sweetie. When the police came. That night you were throwing furniture at me and the neighbours called them. After they separated us, the cop asked me why I kept defending you. I said that I was not. He said yes, I was. Two weeks later, I rented a car and left like a thief in the night. I never spoke to you again.
Do you remember? How many times you said you hated me? How many times you consoled me? How many times you said my ways would never succeed? How many times you said I was perfect?
I went to our old apartment today sweetie for my goodbye celebration. My tart was sweet and sour and I cried. Well it is over. There is no need to cry anymore. It is over.