There’s a reason the world dropped me to my knees. It put me there so it could kick me in the teeth.
I can’t write anything down without the word travail right now, without the word abort and birth. I can’t deal with this new bit of information. Ray and I, we ran into Bill this evening. He waved from a corner and we were trapped in traffic and a red light. Of course I leapt from the vehicle, of course I ran to his arms and asked he come with us to dinner. You are still one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met, I thought, and I almost blurted it out. I almost ran my fingers down the side of his face to tuck his hair behind his ear before I remembered. No, we’re not together anymore. We said we would work on it, but it’s his turn to call me, I thought.
I can’t tonight. I’m putting up a show. You know.
And I do. I love this man and I remember. Everything hurtful was erased already by how I know with every little memory of his back hunched over the console, every sunny afternoon through a duplex window while explosions rocked the tiny living-room. I love his hands, how they’ve bent to the guitar, how he plucks soft notes from everything, how he tears sound from the world with them, from me. He lives in red in my body, but when I met him tonight, he was in black. Theater dress, and I matched. It made me grin a little to think that now I was the red, that his smile was real to see me.
I have some news for you.
I’ve been thinking of him lately, how part of me is still clamoring for his voice to talk to, how it’s been maybe not too long yet to fix this, how we said we would and that maybe it’s time to look at that. When the right music comes on, I can’t help but think of him dancing. A muppet shake of back and forth, the sweetest goofiest shake of the hips and hair. My first reaction was to stop. Everything stopped, the world continued, traffic around me, but it wasn’t real, because I was stopped. You’re putting me on, I said. I looked at him with the first denial stage of shock. No, you’re not, I said.
It’s true. I met a woman and
It’s the violinist, it has to be, it is. The woman with the wonderful name who I wanted to meet because she could be making music with him. There’s a V and maybe a Y. The time-line, tell me the time-line. Tell me when and tell me why you didn’t tell me before, why you didn’t think I should know, why running into me on the street was enough to balance three years, was enough to balance you.
We’re not really telling anyone yet.
but I was dying. I was not breathing, not seeing. Everything was too hot and blurring and I wanted to reach out my hands and crush him to me and say,
but I still move like you. The tilt of your head still crosses my body and when I dream, you’re there.
Instead he gets on a bus and calls from the window,
Really, this is good news.
and I say probably
and I fall as the bus turns the corner and he can’t see me anymore. I killed our child with him. I was sick, so sick that I coulnd’t see. That death, I could feel it dying in a knot inside me, felt like this. I fall and hit hard, the pavement unfriendly. It doesn’t matter anymore, however, because again, I’ve stopped. I’ve stopped and my heart has ceased breathing.