I do as my baby bids me do.

Neither one of us is saying anything, so I suppose that I should.

No, that's not entirely true. We're saying things, we're talking. There are these daily text messages across the country that make me feel like a teenager. Of course, people didn't have cell phones when we were teenagers, and I say that to illustrate how old we are now.

We are so old! I remember feeling like just barely an adult when I met you, and maybe I was or wasn't, but I'm sure that I remember you baby-faced and bright eyed and swilling cheap beer in that overly lit bar in Belltown the very first time I laid eyes on you. I remember fitting you into my little pink bed and noting how still you were when you slept. I remember the two of us petering out in a matter of weeks. And then I left.

And was it then? At my going away party? You gave me a little pin of two hands folded into a tiny red heart, and I've worn it on the breast pocket of my jacket ever since, and when people ask me where I got it I will say it's from Alexis, or Wood, or My Ex because you have so many names that I use interchangeably. It confuses everyone and it confuses me because part of me needs this small amount of subterfuge to keep you all to myself. 

But you understand this, don't you? I mean, I know it's fucked up--I know it's unfair because it belies an understanding that I'm wary of letting you so close again, and yet I can't think of anyone else I want close to me, and I want you around all the time, and I don't want you back at all. I'm racking my brain trying to figure out exactly how you could really fit into my life but I'm coming up blank and I imagine this will go the route of every other time in the last eight years that we've decided to entertain the idea of us.

You just texted me. Just now. Just to say "I love you...but don't tell anybody" and I laughed out loud as responded that I intended on telling everybody. And kind of already had.

But this time seems so different, doesn't it? Now we're both in our thirties. Granted, it's likely not much different for you as you've always had a penchant (an obsession?) for holding onto your youth as long as possible, for avoiding responsibility, for sleeping so soundly in your little Georgetown flat knowing you don't owe anybody anything. While these years may have given you nothing more than a case of "absence makes the heart something something" it's been a little bit different for me. 

Because now I want a baby.


P.S. --I did not write the title of this post. It is a line from the poem, My Lover Lives On the Other Coast, M Doughty, 1996.

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