On Your Naked Neck

So I moved, again, and as per usual it was not without the grand sendoff that I thought I so deserved. My entire family gathered about me to see me off and I cried when I pressed my nose into the crooks of thier necks for the last time and wiped the tears from thier cheeks with the pad of my thumb, thier faces gently cradled in the bowl of my palm. I slipped my fingers behind thier heads and up amoungst all of thier hair, I held them close to me and hoped that for my sake, they wouldn't miss me too much and I hoped that this was the only flood of tears I would encounter as to save my sanity for the light and bright and sunshine of San Francisco. I hoped for a finality and some sort of stability out of this move, although with all of thier shiny eyes and thier arms around me with thier names on the tip of my tounge and in the deepest recesses of me I feared that this, like all the others, would but leave me wishing to be with them, just to be with them one more time.
I think Joshua knows this, knows that I've never returned his calls faster, never been quite as eager to meet for a beer. He has to know that down here in California I see every every street and intersection as one more unfamiliarity, that although we first convened amidst a never ending Seattle winter, we were now both entrenched in the trolley lines and painted ladies of this vast California city. This here, this city by the bay is his hometown, and now he is the one weilding the experience and history, now he laughs at me as I am the newcomer; the tables are turned, and now I am the one seeking to replace what it seems as if I lost with some boy next to me who I knew then when all of them were there. He knows this, he has to.
Now he is not the one who is homesick and dissolusioned, feigning that companionship will solve it, and he has taken to commanding me without thought to my wants, he suddenly now prefers to tell me how to feel.

"You've missed this, haven't you."

He says this as some sort of ill punctuated question; He speaks it with a finality and honesty that forces me to answer although by the cadence of his voice and the forcefullness of his mannerisms I can tell he'll only stand for one particular answer. I have no other option.

"Yes", I whisper.

I did. I missed more than I could bring myself to say withought admitting that I hate that I've had to leave, and I can't remember why I did, and all that is in my head is how badly I want to forget everything but here because here is new and yet to be complicated and beautifully, beautifully foreign. I wanted to tell him, to say everything that happened when I traded my hometown for his, wanted to apologize for the offhandedness I offered him through the winter when he could never admit that he just wanted to feel, just wanted someone there to make the present feel static and the past far away. I wanted to ask him to please, please save me from the lingering guilt I still feel from all of thier tears trickling down the back of my hands and as the one member of my old community and to return the favor to me from all of those rainy nights in his attic, laying naked and listening to his every last story of his old neighborhood and California and everything that it meant to him I want him to make me whole and new and when I'm just about to speak I feel the pad of his thumb underneath my jaw.
Now, my breath caught, I stare wide eyed in the darkness into his face, he cries out and I'm helpless and unaware of all of his new rules when he has the backing of history and geography. Here, on his turf, I'm but a plaything, unable to have my own reservations but his and I bend to him, his thumb firmly under my jaw, and each fleshy fingerprint wrapping around the softest parts of my naked neck, his palm pressing on my throat and all of my words and breath and resolve are gone because here, now, they have to be gone.
It all has to be gone, and he knew, and he choked the last of it from me, everything that I regretted and felt responsible for though I wasn't there to witness anymore. The world stood still for me right then, both time and normal human autonomic response seemed inconsequential.

I thought of the business end of a beige plastic fork deep in the pursed chocolate-stained mouth of a redhead, and thought of her now, huge breasts on her tiny frame, cradling a little piece of her in a blanket, and how I'm not there to see it.

I thought of a pair of thick, black, rhinestone studded sunglasses set atop the bridge of a perfect nose and her now with all of her long curly hair and all of her conviction and I can't be there to witness it.

I thought about a mountain bike parked in my kitchen, a shout jarring me from sleep and his smile that made it okay for him to breach my unlocked door and wake me with coffee and bagels in the morning because that's how we are, and I can't be there to share that.

I thought about one huge tear so pervasive and shiny, thick and full in the corner of her left blue eye, and how it shown in the light and I could almost see myself inside of it, and now I won't be there to wipe it away and it's all gone. It all has to be gone, and he's choked the last of it from me and given me a brand new place, a new city fresh from rain and I feel wonderful.

When I leave Joshua near sleep it is late, and I'm broken and shaky and I can feel all of this emotion behind my eyes and in my throat. I find my car, climb in to the drivers seat; ignition, parking brake, adjust the mirror. I pull a smoke from a near empty pack, light it with one hand while pulling into the right lanes of 24th. Fumbling, I unroll the window with my left hand, right reaching for a stereo that's not there, holding a ciggarette that already bears a half-inch of ash. The streetlamps in the median are dimmer than I think they should be, and instead of a crisp blue-violet are a warm dark orange and they cast a thick and gauzy incandescent glow on the road and the hood of my car. I ash my ciggarette, inhale, exhale, a breeze comes in the window that smells of chili and salt and somwhere in the city's chill late night effluvia is the heat of the day and all of the miles that I had come and everything that had to be gone. I drive back to my flat, and am surprised when it's but a couple of minutes away, and I'm surprised when my key fits in the lock. My pillow smells like me, and is under this roof of this apartment cloaked in all of the big and the vast of this city; I can feel all of my history and memory in the deepest recesses of me, and yet somehow I am home.

1 comment:

charles.bukowski.costanza said...

dude your shit makes me smile. thanks for the on-blog shoutout--that's so hot--everybody wants to be me. at least, everybody besides all the other people you gave shoutouts to. my phone has moved on; until my new one comes, digs are 890.7280. loveyoumissyouwantyou! m.