Light gold speckled sun, dew sprinkled winter grass. We were sprawled on a blue and white gingham picnic blanket. You put your arms around me. You felt my body gently shaking with the wind. It was too cold for a picnic, but there we were. I brought a book which I didn't read. You brought earphones, but the silence was too engrossing. We sat pressed together. Cold then warm with the undulating movement of our breath. The cheese was gummy, but the bread was delicious- rough and solid. My mouth was dusted with flour. You grinned, then kissed me, sharing the burden of my floury mouth. The sun set, turning the gold to pink and finally to grey. I rested my head on your chest. A cherry blossom landed on your nose. We laughed. I kicked off my shoes, braving the cold I danced barefoot in the grass to the music you shared with me. Two quiet honey-colored voices. When I came back from dancing, I found all the bread gone. I looked into your flour touched face. Your guilty eyes met mine. I smirked, grabbing my coat. I ran down the hill to the river, yelping as it reached out for my already slimy feet.
You were light; I was the window you shined through. You were a feather; I had roots. You were cold; I was warm. You were the yellow flowers that decorated the cliffside; I was the ocean underneath. And together we bent, shook and danced, but never fell. We lingered, sprawled out on the winter grass, idly braiding it with our toes.
I jumped into the front seat of your silver car. The upholstery was dingy, but the windows were rolled down. It had a good stereo. I stuck my head into the wind, chasing the music we let slide into the air. The meaning of the lyrics eluded me, and by the glazed-over expression on your face, I don't think you understood them, either. But we didn't need to. The song was ours: its meaning lay in the soft curve of your mouth, the slate grey sky, and the chunky blanket wrapped snugly over my legs. I knew you. I knew your too big feet, the funny way you walked, how your face lit up when you saw the sea. I tailored the song to fit us, like how my body fits against yours. I watched your maroon shoes tap gently to the music and smiled softly to myself. We were as mismatched as blue and orange socks. I was lovely, and you were you. I miss you.
I saw you in a tabloid this morning. I didn't recognize the girl you were with. She wore pink lipstick. Pink. I imagined how your lips would look after you kissed her and laughed. You would have laughed with me. You are the only one who could ever make pink lipstick work. I knew you were drunk. You rock back on your heels when you’re drunk. She was probably drunk too. You weren't wearing your maroon shoes. Your quirk: your maroon shoes, the stacks of records littering your living room, me. It’s why they loved you. Your songs aren't as good now I've stopped writing them. I wrote you. I captured you with pen and paper. Without me you’re losing yourself, you’re falling, you’re floating: Pink lipstick and People magazine.
Over facebook messenger,
Is there any real difference: burgundy lipstick, New York Times interviews; pink lipstick, features in People Magazine. Just lipstick, just paper.
The difference was that I was more than my lipstick and you were more than your paper. Who wrote your last song?
So you’ve changed.
I guess I have.
Now you respond to my letters with text messages.
Now my life is a series of pictures, not words.
Now you wear Vans, they're not even maroon.
Now my songs are played on the radio rather than listened to on records.
Now you understand every word you hear.
Now I date a girl who wears pink lipstick, but trust me, it doesn't color my mouth.
I moved into a new apartment yesterday. I still haven't decided how I want to decorate it. The walls are the palest of yellows. In the kitchen there is a green stove from the fifties. Painted in a corner are two blue flowers that look like forget-me-nots. They are small and only noticeable if you look, but to look you have to be expecting to find something. Not many people walk into an apartment expecting to find tiny blue flowers painted on the wall. I traced their delicate petals with my fingers, then sat on the floor. It was rough old wood: light in color, but not in temperament. I still haven't picked out a couch. My old couch was for my old apartment. I can see you sitting next to me. You are fiddling with your fingers, your eyes are frantically searching the bare walls. That’s how I found the blue flowers. We would sit, hands pressed together, taming the wild emptiness of the space. I’m writing to you because there are two blue flowers on my wall, and an empty place on my empty floor. I still love you, or I love the person you were. The person you would become once I changed you back.
I miss your breath on raw winter days, the way you would breathe puffy white clouds of fog, laughing as you chased the dispersing droplets of condensation. It’s cold here. Do you remember what winter is like?
I went couch shopping. I couldn't decide: a green old fashioned sofa, velvet with velvet colored buttons or a beige one from Ikea with perfect legs. I chose the beige, even though the green fit the room. I didn't like the thought of an old couch standing on an old floor. This one has fresh legs. I bought a coffee table that matched, on it I put some blue flowers, but unlike the ones in the corner these will die. Maybe the next flower on my coffee table will be an iris. It would look nice with the yellow.
I haven't used the couch much, I like sitting on the floor. He always greets me with a warm tired embrace. I can feel all the feet that have worn his planks smooth. The patterns of their calluses are etched into his memory. The floor might be smooth, but my couch lacks its grit. My couch lacks the imprint of your bum.
My feet are submerged in the icy water of the ocean. I can feel the cold current tugging at the miniscule flakes of dead skin, falling limply from my feet. Maybe the fish will make a meal of my toes’ left overs. It’s March, cloudy, but not very cold. I am thawing. The blue flowers died, but I decided irises were too gaudy. Instead, because it’s March, I picked a couple of crocuses and daffodils. I decided a superabundance of blossoms were better suited to my mood then the pale delicacy of a snowdrop. I’ve lost you, but your corpse is very fertile. I am dating a man named Neil.
We broke up.
What did you expect when you still write letters to your ex.
I expected him to break up with me.
There you go, I think my corpse is still fresh.
Fresh enough that there is a possibility your not dead?
No, but fresh enough that I’m still not quite sure I’m dead.
What’s the difference?
The difference is that the power doesn't lie with the perception of the living.
I am a web. I reach out only to hold myself up. I am a tangled ball of yarn pulled apart to reveal twisted insides. I'm vulnerable in a prideful sort of way. I lose myself in what I catch... I caught you. I lost myself in you.. And now you are gone; now I am just a web. I tried on my maroon shoes, the ones you loved so much. They didn't fit. Maybe it was because I wore them without socks. I don't like wearing socks in the summer. In the summer we don’t need coats or eachother. But I’m cold. I hold your songs. I sing them softly because I am scared. I'm scared of you. I'm scared of being without you..
We stood on the bridge, throwing pebbles, Watching them fall. I leaned over the railing. I waited to see them splash, but they fell too far. Your hair was in my face. I surrendered my concentration to the smell of your shampoo. The smell of strawberries. You are a strawberry on a cloudy day. I think you blew the pebbles away with your sighs. Instead of falling they flew on the wind of you. We are a field of flowers in winter. Not quite yet blooming. I am crap at writing letters. I miss you. I want to hear the music in your words, they are a lot better than mine. Write me a song. I will be there to sing it to you.