New piece. Called We held the summer.
We held Miami the way Miami holds the summer. Is this new? Feels new. Feels great. Feels like a landscape painted on the back of my eye lids. New socks fresh from the dryer. The radio sucks less.
We held the summer like a greasy burger. Like those games of slurp and burp we played with prying eyes and knuckle meat on mornings where we both had more important things to worry about. I can’t remember what though. Laundry? Ambition? Rent? Insert (here) ____________ _____________. But those things never held in my memory. Not sitting in class. Not the x y or z of what I did when I was high. I can blur every day from the restaurant into one frame. But I got a photo album out of you. From North Florida to it’s most southern point. You won’t believe me and I don’t expect you too.
So quiz me.
We held the summer like a Polaroid. When we were both knee deep in dreams I’m only still half convinced were our own. But how can you ever be sure of something like that? Will we paint the past gold? How warped will our weres be? It’s all hindsight to the days we stayed glued to those doors we’d wouldn’t forget to lock again. Valuable lesson. Dinner and movies in bed. My hands around your neck. Belts and blind folds. Curious, young. Vibrators small enough to get stuck in–Oh damn…We’ll both learn that college tuition can be a lousy investment before this is all over. And loyalty for the sake of loyalty isn’t noble. It’s stupid, i.e. honor thy mother and father. i.e. Eden. blind. We held on as if it were a storm to weather while we broke almost everything in sight. Break chairs, break bonds, break hearts and cars but never a promise. Never a promise.
We held the summer like a bag of legos. Building up our laughs inch by sacred inch into monuments; matched only by how naively we jumped in. Death to all the first impressions we dragged through the dirt and the petty arguments we pulled over our feet and into our shoes, stuck under our soles. Every step an aggressive syllable. What good will come of this? Art? Pfffffft. Synonyms: Driftwood, feather dust. Helium. Bring something worth weighing to the table.
We held the summer like a mirror to smash. I am hands and nothing more. You are Monday morning spent torn and mourning a cat. You are a breath too big to ever fully exhale. You are cliff notes to the world. You are a savior. Move on is the prescription but we’re a pair of junkies and can’t-let-gos. We fit into each other like splinters.
We held the summer like a ticking bomb or a .38. We were strung out hollering about our cracked walls. Biting back at good sense. Little woe-is-me’s afraid of inadequacy and lightning. Hypocrites. Traitors. Judas at his most human. And this is where we both were ready to give up almost anything in exchange for acceptance. This is what those shitty radio songs cry about. So sick. Ne-yo, you bitch. Not so easy now is it? Despite all that logic dispensed so easily, leisurely, wizened before. Where’s that level head of yours? Go ahead dumbass, try and think your way out of a heart. We’ll watch. We’ll laugh.
We held the summer like vultures. I stood between a kettle and a volt. Awake awaiting a wake. Vultures. Me: washing dishes. You: peeking where I buried my screams. Vultures circling. You found the venom I’d drained. I should have thrown it out. Vultures feeding. Smashed porcelain and sunflowers. Me stumbling through the night, calling your name. Vultures. Why? Fuck. Vultures. You locked the door, went to bed alone. Let me in shivering before the neighbors got up with eyes like Vultures.
We held the summer at arm’s length. Counting pros and cons on fingers and adding rights and wrongs on toes. Trying to measure the rights within reach with a ruler. What kind of fight is fair? What depth do I need to sink to be convincing? How can I fix this? Then along comes the ‘got back together with’ then along comes the marriage as sudden as a status change.
We held the summer like two one hundred dollar bills; obvious value, lacking substance. I wanted him to be an asshole. I kept wanting him to lean over and brag on how he fucks you better than I ever could. I wanted a reason to storm out mad. To punch him in the eye and slam doors. Temper tantrums. Ash and echoes and good bye. But I guess that’s always been my problem. Needing permission. I wanted him to give me a look I could take wrong (did our eyes ever meet?). Or squeeze your ass in front of me. Something.
We held the summer, waiting, praying it wasn’t all gravity and books we’d read before. I kept wanting to be an asshole. To march up to you and kiss you like we used to, crushing teeth, trying to merge our atoms a little. Silently howling into eachother’s lungs, hoping something would get lodged or hooked. To convince the both of us that we weren’t a one way street. Like there was hope for me…we…Like it was my turn to be human. I wanted to pull your hair and grab your neck. Or squeeze your ass when he wasn’t looking. Something.
We held the summer the same way children do. I kept hoping you would be an asshole. To sneak onto the couch with me in the middle of the night and whisper how much more huggable I am or how much better in bed I was. To say it wasn’t the same. Tell me it was alright, that it was real. To tell me maybes and what ifs, look back at old photos like mirrors for a moment. Scratch my head before heading to bed. Or squeeze my ass when he wasn’t looking. Something.
But I’m a gentleman and he’s a gentleman and you’re no asshole. This isn’t a movie. No fingers to properly point. No villains. Not even antagonists. Just Protagonists predicted to the intersections. Some of us get to go left and others have to go right. From black and white to grey. Ambiguous. Slush. Grey. Blurs. Enigma. Doubt. Grey. Second guessing. Grey. I came and left without drama like I always do. Grey, grey. God damn grey.
We held the summer like dusty bodega prego. At 22, I can’t even have a mid-life existential crisis right. Quietly drowning in the sea I’ve been filling up for years. Bubbles blurbing out of habit, barely verbing at all, just enough to convince me docile, awaiting rescue. Waiting in line. My turn soon, right? Wrong form? Back of the line again? My turn soon right? I don’t feel mature, I feel tame. They’re not the same. I’m a movie cliche, directorless, begging to be told cut; a C-list actor stuck in character, two dimensional and anxious.
We held the summer like our favorite ice cream. Or was it Gelato? Guilty pleasures. Something should have changed. Your eyes should have dulled. My trust should have halted but I just opened more. Silence should have wedged its way in between us like a Great Dame. But it didn’t. PB & J. Peas and carrots. Our voices still played duets on xylophones of laughs. This can’t be right. When the fuck am I supposed to start hating you?
We held the summer like a pair of jumper cables. A missing glove. Ihop. A freshly painted apartment. a death cab. River rafts. IHop. A drive to Tennessee and back. Love notes that never used that overrated word. Cherrywood. Hazel headlights. Collins Ave. IHop. IHop. Recee’s peanut butter cups. IHop. Arizona. A Colt 45 and two zig zags. Nemesis. Cunt. Key west. Graduation. Hoodies and coffee. Weed and togas. The edge where dreams commit suicide. Paint rags and amaretto bread pudding.
We held the summer steady in it’s surrender. We both know tomorrow will be too much for us. But we learn slowly, heavy with expectations. Always with expectations of something beautiful. Something better. Steadier. Permanent. Give up on the past, its far too heavy for your neck. Crush my bruises into a pipe I can learn to play. Tear my hair out until I’m essential and bare. This surrender of reason is reason to surrender. But to what?
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