Sunday, 23 February 2014

"So, we beat on, boats against the current..."

I have worn new clothes to work this week. Shirts with lace panels, and dresses with ruffles, and cardigans as finespun and delicate as cobwebs. I have been spreading wings of blusher across my cheekbones. Fancily pinning my hair. For myself, I thought, but in truth it was for him. I wanted him to think of me as pretty. I wanted him to regret giving me up so easily.

One half of me thought If he wants me, I will tell him no. The other half thought If he asks me, I will go.

I was happy on Wednesday. I could feel a light in my face, a radiance. I felt soft and good and pretty. He stopped me by the copier, my arms full of papers, and told me what I wanted to hear: lovely, was the word he used. I blushed, and floated back to my desk.

Be careful, said R, He is trying to charm you. I laughed, waved an airy hand, said no, no,  even as a bubble of hope rose in me like the fizz in a glass of champagne. He is not good for you, said N,  You have to let him go. I nodded, said I know, said yes.

I drank wine in the evening. I wrote a poem about the moon. I painted my nails the colour of beaten tin. All I thought about, the whole time, was him.

It was late when he messaged, as I had known, deep down, that he would. He told me that he was thinking of me, that he missed me in his arms, his house, his bed. I should have stopped the conversation there, closed over it the way water closes over a stone. Instead, I put my spun-glass heart in his hands. Turned my thin, pale belly up to his teeth.

I know already that this is wrong. I am not the love of his life, but only the easy option. I am not the object of his passion but only a desire.

He bought me a rose when we went to Rome in November. I pressed it between the pages of a book to keep the memory. I feel, now, a little like that flower. Like a rose in a book taken down from a shelf. He only wants to look for a while, and remember. He only wants a known fondness, the old familiar.

And still, and still, and still I am tempted.

Already I am hanging, like a coat on a hook, waiting for him to fill my empty places and give me shape. I am losing myself little by little to the air. He is wind and I am sand, and he sifts me, endlessly, from myself.

I want him. I don't want him. I want him. I don't.  I write to convince myself.  I write to untangle the need.

I feel like a wishbone, snapped abruptly apart. My wishes spilled, unsortable, across the table.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to what you speak of here. All too many times have I been charmed by such people, and lost my resolve. There are some very dark impulses in all of us that make us return to things we mustn't. You write about it beautifully and I think your clarity around your feelings is remarkable.

    Thank you so, so much for the comment you left on my blog. That post was probably the most personal post I've ever written. I like writing about love but that was the first post in which I really had something to write about, haha. My boyfriend loves it, which is the most important thing I guess :)

    following you now, thank you again for making me smile xx