I light up a cigarette and continue staring into the shadowy darkness of the unfolding night. In the thin cold air, the contours of your face emerge from within the white curls of smoke and then evaporate and disappear as though nothing ever happened between us. As if you weren’t the one outside looking in. In and out of my life because I can never decide and decisions aren’t as important to you as dragging a thing through the slogs of proverbial mud to its inevitable filthy death on the side of a road less traveled.
It’s funny how we trade our bodies for a little bit of goddamn time alone. Women know this. We know how to toss ourselves, raw and trembling, out to the wolves and somehow find peace in the way at least while we are being devoured the exhaustion of the hunt is over. If they can just get on with it then we could finally rest.
A branch snaps somewhere on the ground near my little makeshift bonfire and for a second I think of turning on some music just to kill the haunt in the stillness of this quiet night in mid-October. But part of me enjoys the simmering noise of the pulsing crickets and the rush of the traffic on the highway off in the distance. And like I said, I’m tired, but it will be quite a while before I make my way to bed. Sleep is fitful lately so I do a lot less of it.
My doctor tells me sleep disorders have risen exponentially in the last two years. Exploded to some insane degree of regularity among average people such as myself. I never had trouble before in my life so I never once thought about it until it became all I can think about. That’s the way of things though, right. You don’t know what you had until it’s gone with the wind. You do the best you know how and where you don’t know you make shit up as only you can.
Sucking the last drag of my smoke, I toss my phone into the grass and turn my wide eyes up to the black velvet stretch of the starry night sky. I wish you were here with me. I wish I didn’t crave affection and loneliness in equal measure. I wish I didn’t know you were such a beautiful kind of destruction. But the human heart is a strange and slippery thing. While something in us is forever wild and bold, something else in us is always frightened. Something in us is always huddled in a tiny corner trying to be brave.