On January 1st 2013 around 3am, my eyes open as warm water washes over my head. Strands of vomit peel off of my curls and down into the drain. You are standing beside the tub lathering soap between your hands before tapping my limbs with suds. You are distant but concerned. I open my mouth to speak but when I try, my throat fills with the warm water. My brain is sloshed with champagne and mistakes. I struggle to keep my bones upright- I embarrassed you and I knew that I would continue to do so for years to come. Through the water I sputter the words “I love you” but what I meant to say was “I am sorry.”
Late August 2012 we are standing across the living room from each other amongst poorly taped cardboard boxes and corners filled with dust. I am 21 years of disappointments. I haven’t answered a single question with any other sentiment than “I don’t know.” Frustration is boiling over and finally, she insists “why.” I tell her. No more secrets, we say. I tell her what happened. I am running and hiding and wavering. I am undecided but decidedly clear of my decision to leave. I dip in and out of positivity and dread. She holds me and I say nothing. She says “I love you” enough times for the both of us.
September 7th, 2018 2:30am we walk across the Manhattan bridge. Our palms stick together from late summer sweat making our skin congeal into a single slime. We don’t let go. I can’t seem to find a way to let myself go. Speckles of paint and clay decorate my arms and black clothing. The curls on my head are delicately pinned down to hide the affects of humidity. You smell like lawn and cigarettes. We discuss space and relationships and we make a plan to move to Sunset Park in the winter. We will fill our living room with flowers and your recording equipment. We talk about painting and cassettes. I tell you how I’m horrible and you tell me I am lying. Between exchanges of dreams we remind each other “I love you,” We dance to The Replacements and then we say it again- “I love you.” Palms still strung together, we cross the bridge back into Brooklyn and you lay on the dirt path eyes closed. I place my free hand on your cheek and tell you “it’s time to go home.”
July 2014 I move into an apartment in Williamsburg where, on the first of the month, I stuff a wad of twenties under the door of the ground floor apartment. It is cheap and the location is good but I am trapped. I spend the summer digging myself so far deep into my misery that it will take a whole winter for me to finally implode.