Thursday, May 15, 2008

On the Things I Cannot Say

The weather outside is absolutely beautiful. The sun is shining, it's warm on my face, the birds are singing, the breeze is lovely and fragrant and tickling the trees. But today is the day you left, and though you haven't been gone long your absence is a presence in my life already. I read my book to make the time past, at home and at the dentist's, and it is profound but it is also sad. It has a red handprint on the cover. It's of a left hand, like the one I use to write. I place my hand upon the shadow of a hand, but the red hand is too big. My mind traces the curves and lengths of your hands, and my measurements say this hand on the cover is about the same size as yours. It makes me want to hold your hand again, to trace its soft lines. Last night we were holding each other close and in your arms I almost said the things I cannot say. It's not that I don't want to tell you, in fact I have the feeling you already know, but I have never told you in so many words. I want you to know every part of me, even this part, but for some reason it is very hard for me. Part of me says it's because I don't know how you feel about it, that it might scare you that I feel this way, that maybe it's best if you don't know. But really it's that I am afraid and a bit superstitious. The words are the shape of the ways I've been damaged before. My fears are related to the way you would answer; or worse, the way you might not answer. I know that it is likely you feel the same: maybe you too are scared of this type of thinking. If you didn't answer it might not reflect how you feel, it must just be the way you can't say it either, even after I had, or that you were happy about it and just wanted to savor the moment and not mar it with words. But the problem is I wouldn't know. I'd want you to answer and maybe there is nothing to say. If you don't feel that way, I wouldn't want you to say you did, but it would hurt just the same that you don't. I am hoping you too, and all evidence points to that. But the anxiety to say it, this one little category of things I hide from you, is growing. Every time I think about it, I think, I'm going to say it, something, anything, to let him know, next time we're together. But then when we are together I just want to be in the moment. Should I even be worrying about the future when the present is so wonderful? But I know, too, that we are eventually going to have to talk about it. Is it an unspoken rule that we can't? Or just a boundary in my mind? I mentioned it's where I've been damaged before, and now I'll tell you why. I've said it before, planned for the future in the past, and it has never worked out the way I hoped, the way I longed. I felt like the fact that we'd said it made it all the worse to leave behind. I'm beginning to doubt whether it makes much of a difference in the end if it doesn't happen: I'll still have thought it, and you'll have never known how I felt. So even now I'm convincing myself it will be better to make it clear to you, and that I should just say it. But that doesn't stop the freezing of the words, the times when I push myself to say it and end up going further into myself and holding tighter to the words, and staying silent and you probably are wondering what I am thinking of, but you don't ask so perhaps you are thinking just as feverishly. Or is that it is just not in your nature to ask? Maybe that's okay. Maybe one day I'll be ready to breathe you in while we're embracing, and lift my head and look you in the eye, and draw in a breath and open my mouth and let loose the words: "I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

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