He was a freedom I couldn’t quite see myself inside, though I wanted to. I wanted to so badly. But people can’t change their souls, only their habits and it is here at the feet of the dying of hope that I sit and wait in silent sadness. It may sound strange but the words I write to him appear in my mind as I imagine typing them, his image superimposed behind each one as if the words can see through him or perhaps he can see through the words. I doubt it, though, he’s never been one for attending to words. I don’t speak of the things which matter most to me anymore because they don’t matter to this world the way certain other, flashier, glossier, neater things do. I am too deep, too idealistic, too difficult. I get so close I forget to breathe. I can see how this would be true so I’m not sure how to react or respond, aside from the drinking and other invisible tools one uses to quietly, diligently dismantle one’s existential hangups from the inside out. What matters. What matters more. What shouldn’t matter to me but does, simply does. They speak about being yourself. They hurl it your way like a whirling blade, a cruel and punishing threat. Be yourself, as if I don’t spend every waking second trying to figure out exactly who she is and be able to hold her hand through everything in spite of everything else. Lighting a cigarette as I duck under an overhang to avoid the rain which is now torrential, I tuck into my coat and begin questioning my life choices one by one as they parade in front of me like a manic marching band, decision after decision obnoxious and loud. When I write I am not myself. When I write I am more myself than I am anytime or anywhere else. Did you know that gazing up in adoration at someone else can burn your eyes blind and scorch your skin raw? True story. Did you know that power can destroy innocence because beauty is not far enough away from sin to keep itself in line? You watch me. Feast on my words and spit out what you don’t like. But I? I open my mouth and my veins and my chest, and I, well… like it or not, dirty or sweet, angel or demon. I have to take all of it.