I dream of you in bathtubs of flies, smoking opium
I dream of you laughing as you tell my dad how in love with me you are
I dreamed of you having a baby with her
You’ve always intrigued me with your mind, pulled me in like you were a portal
I’ve always jumped headfirst into my outlets to another world, and although I only ever dipped my toes in your dark water, I became swept up all too quickly as you went under with me
I can’t even say your hands pulled me in, we held our breath and went underneath together
From day one, from day one
I felt jealous seeing you with her, I felt like I knew you
I felt like I knew your secrets without you ever even telling me, I felt like you knew mine
You smoked cigarettes back to back with me, out in the dark – you procrastinated work more with me
We only talked once a week, but it felt like we had never left our spot, intertwined in intense interaction
I hated the idea of hurting her by having you
But what I wanted was to have you
It wasn’t like Tara. Though I’ll never tell you that. She hasn’t left me. Even as she’s so gone. Gone gone gone.
The pills seem to be helping or I’m just manic. Things are different now. I’m back home but it feels like I live with you part time. Dads sicker now. I feel everything he feels. I’m older but not old enough.
Time passed like a slow motion repeated punch to the face, and we’re battered
I see the loss of me continuously torture him, like he failed me, like he has to fight the war we’d never win – how do you fight the broken system? I tell him all I can do is be the change I want to see. Even as I still bleed in some ways. Some probably too much.
I place band aid after band aid on every gaping hole. I’ve put up wall after wall that I can’t even break them down completely when I try. Even as I feel like it comes naturally. I just won’t break. I guess that takes time. Will I ever be able to?
Tara saw everything. She saw me. I’ll never tell you how I still picture her. I’ll never tell how I carry her letter that I accidentally tye dyed while drunk like it’s a parting gift from my general at war. Who saved me. Carried me through as the bullets left me unable to carry myself.
I felt every knick and cut, I felt your hands having to dig in to get the remains out, I felt the alcohol burn my skin as you worked to cleanse everything.
I shook over you upon leaving. Upon entering the real world again. Mom was supposed to be there. I was cut off from everyone. She was there for a little while. Until she was gone again. But I saw that coming.
I bleed. And I bleed. And I’m bleeding laying here.
I can’t even fully write about him properly without it switching back over to you. Here’s where the narrative has to leave you. You’re not here anymore.
I feel horrible to say it as everything here is inherently good, his parents, him
But their internal ruins show through everywhere, like all of it blew chunks in every corner
I cough more from the dust
I have a questionable cut on my pinky toe from the shower, if that’s even what you could call it
He wants to make it better and I have hope that he will
Even as I watch him procrastinate, not reach his full potential
He wants to and I believe in him, but my fear is that this is all it’ll ever be – my fear is that time will matter, that this is potentially a severely vulnerable time for us
I had to go and I left, mom gave up on me before that
We haven’t talked and she’s taking whatever pieces of my heart she still has access to, and that’s them
What is it about us that seems to draw them too close for comfort, we were enjoying the evening, walking around his hometown
I see them unmistakably, they stop and stare for a moment
I couldn’t help myself, even as I enjoyed the little comforts of today even in the great discomfort of this house, I was falling into how pissed I feel, how overall hurt I feel.
He saw me angry. (I will refrain from bringing Tara back into this.)
I yelled to her to have a nice night, I yelled fuck you and he shushed me, he was right, I shouldn’t have done that
I called my aunt and cried to her instead
I rewatch the scene, “Not Penny’s Boat.” And I think of my dads words, “At the end of the day, I was the captain, and the ship sank.”
I don’t want to see you sink. Don’t sink on me.