haggling :: a dialogue for one voice
If he’s really gone, I’m forsaking God and dental hygiene.
Once upon a time, this house was filled with laughter. With candlelit takeout dinners and concert stubs and the smell of sex and Febreze. Once upon a time, this house was filled with bliss and cheesy 90s love songs and euphoria and poems written on the backs of greasy napkins.
God, I miss that.
What’s it filled with now?
So I sit up at night, and stare at the ceiling fan, and bargain with God and my Listerine. If I can hold that blue shit in my mouth for five minutes, then he’ll come home. I know he will.
Five minutes for forever, it’s a pretty good trade. Or I think so.
Once upon a time, this house was filled with tears. And anger and lies, and “Won’t you turn that goddamn music down?”s and “See if I cares”s. Once upon a time, this house was filled with overdue Blockbuster rentals and microwaved leftovers and the smell of… Febreze.
Once upon a time, this house was filled with “I hate you”s and screaming and…
God, I miss that, too. Is that strange? It's strange, I think, but I don't really know.
What’s this house filled with now?
I stay up at night, and pace along the linoleum tiles, and barter with the Ghost of Christmas Past and my teakettle. If I can hold my fingers to the heat for three seconds, then he’ll come home. I know he will.
Three seconds for three centuries, it’s a pretty good bargain.
I know it seems stupid. Listerine and teakettles, I know. But it’ll work. It hasn’t worked yet. But… it will. I just… I need to be patient. I just need a little more time. If I can wait, if I can be strong, if I can beat my cat in a staring contest and step over every sidewalk crack, then he’ll come back, laughing and smiling, and say, “The joke’s on you!” I know he will. He’s probably laughing right now.
Once upon a time, this house was filled with emptiness. With seeping and oozing nothingness, rising tides of oblivion, claustrophobic isolation. Once upon a time, this house was filled with silence. With the stench of decaying “what if” and the drowning roar of things unsaid… Thick silence that drifts in-between my fingers and my toes and, I just want to scream but nothing comes out of my mouth and I don’t know why I’m here or what I’m doing anymore and I’m such a fucking idiot because it was something that I did or said or I didn’t do or say or something I felt or didn’t feel or thought I felt and now…
Now I am alone.
I lie in bed at night and watch reruns in my head, and reason with Fate and my television. If I can figure out the puzzle before Vanna reveals it, then he’ll come home. He’ll come back to me.
Six letters for six hours, just to find where we went wrong. It’s a pretty good exchange: six for six. It makes sense.
I remember everything. I remember breakfast in bed and Old Spice and “two lumps of sugar, no cream” and falling on our asses that one time we tried to ice skate. I remember the freckles on his shoulders and how they looked like a constellation, and how I would connect the dots with my kisses. How we’d do the crossword together every lazy Sunday afternoon. How he was only ticklish on the bottoms of his feet the back of his neck. How we used to try and read each other’s minds. “Guess the card… Close, close! Guess again.”
I remember the only time I ever saw him cry – we were watching Titanic. He didn’t cry when we fought. He didn’t cry when he left. No, he cried when fucking Leonardo DiCaprio kicked the bucket.
I remember everything… except… I don’t remember when it became breakfast alone and “I’ll make my own damn coffee”. When tickling and card tricks and lazy Sunday afternoons disappeared. When I stopped caressing the stars. I don’t remember when. I remember everything but when, everything but where, everything but how… where between the kisses and the crosswords did we stop trying to read each other’s minds?
I stand around at night, and say every prayer I can remember, and maybe some I don’t, and deal with the Devil and my bathtub. If I can hold myself under the water for two minutes, then he’ll come home. I know he will. He will. He will.
Two minutes for two more seconds with him. It’s a damn good deal. Take it or leave it.
And if he’s gone, if he’s really gone, then fuck the Ghost of Christmas Past and fuck Febreze. Forget the Devil and my bathtub, and the cat and the ceiling fan, and Leonardo DiCaprio and overdue Blockbuster rentals and once upon a time and Listerine.
If he’s really gone, I’m forsaking God and dental hygiene. It’s as simple as that.
Created: Jul 09, 2010Document Media