“you look fabulous”

Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery

A polyglot of limbs, tongue twisted in front of a film, I remember this room better than I thought I would, the incongruous poster on the wall of dancing dolphins, the shelf with less books than I would have assumed. Somehow, I am sorry that I do. Situations have shifted, dried like parchment, a fact more important than anything I felt when I woke here a different butterfly Sunday, months ago, tangled, content, and terrified, my fists full of hair and red between my legs, teetering on the cliff edge of falling in love. Certain doors have slammed. The blood I left has either been washed away or covered by a sheet, erased into history, like the skin of our relationship, something no longer demonstrably in existence.

Outside, it’s raining, so we’re cozy inside on a bed made of pillows that takes up half the room, watching Oldboy, a Korean masterpiece of paper doll romance, revenge, kung fu, and dark, bitter humour. It’s one of my favourites. It slams out of the screen, shaking us into screams and laughter, revulsion and sympathy. I can almost ignore his hands. My Seattle friends had never seen it, so at certain moments MaryJane squirms, impressed into squeals, and Adam crawls farther up the bed, away from the screen, but we’re loving it. The film is a beautiful bird of prey, gracefully eviscerating a small furry creature that completely deserved it. Possibly it did something bad to the bird’s mother. It’s fun, full of blood, and a horrible mystery, all at once. Wicked, it goes over well, and then it’s time to leave. Evening, my bus, don’t want to get stranded for the night.

Work would forgive me, but I might not.

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