Who: Him & Her
City: New York, NY
They look so good together. They are both aware of how her bodies fits perfectly into his; her calf tied around his ankle, her arm under his, her head on his shoulder, hand in hand. He reciprocates, warmly, and then he or she remove themselves from the huddle, delicately. They talk and laugh and seem so familiar with each other. That’s the hardest part. At intermission, she massages his head, her fingers gripping bunches of his hair and squeezing them. He gives off a relaxed yet pleasurable moan. Not too much to give away the subtle, subtle message, “I like this now but it doesn’t mean anything for later.” She reciprocates this unanimous and invisible handshake of, “I get it.” And yet, an outsider needs a microscope to see these tiniest of subtleties. A blink and you miss it.
Years and years of being with each other and now – what? This. This purgatory of “I wonder” and “what if” and “imagine.” Where’s the manual? How two people come to know each other; the sleep patterns, the food favorites, the routine, the farts, the burps, the rainbow facets tied to every smile he has. She. She knows this man inside and out. He knows her like the back of his hand; like a tattoo that’s sunk its colors comfortably into his skin. A little dull from the sun, the wear and tare, but the original tattoo just the same. It’s a great tattoo too, your eye always catches it.
She hates this part. The “see ya later,” bit. God, it’s like a knife to the stomach. She notices he doesn’t look back tonight. He races for the train with complete distraction. She likes this. It’s easier on her heart, her breath, her mind. There’s always a tear that sheds no matter how “prepared” she is. God damn it. What happened? A car crash; the best answer, really. Do they both continue to return to the scene of the accident? Try to pick up the remaining pieces of debris? And like a crash, the sporadic nightmares hit her hard – flashes of the break up that wasn’t really a break up. The gray nature of it that’s turned muddied and crusty and a foreign shade of black. She weeps. This part has to happen. Breath. Beats. Peace. Music. Friends. Finding a new familiarity.
“If it’s meant to be it will be.”
She rests her life, the fuckin’ whole of it, on this mantra.
The only relief, no matter how temporary.