Twisted, yeah, I knew you’d call me that. Because I spit in your drink last night at the bar. But you don’t know from twisted. Ever watch a knife fight? Circle, circle, then in for the kill, you never even saw the knife if they’re good. I’m not that good.
All I did was spit. You’re still alive.
I kick the concrete while you talk because I can’t kick you.
You want me to apologize. Say I’m so, so sorry. Or what? You’ll turn on those tough boot heels and leave? Me? That’s your threat?
You’ve got a lot of leaving behind you. I can see that. Tracks lead all the way back to seven years old when your dad left his own trail behind him. So I get it.
I just don’t give a shit.
Now you tell me to stop kicking. Your words grow weeds in my ears.
You shove me. Well, go ahead. No one’s stopping you. I could tell you I won’t do it again but it’s just a bell clanging.
We hate each other during the day but at night…well, at night. You once made a sound when you finally blundered your way inside me like what we were doing punched through your chest and wrapped a hand around your soul. Deep, river-wide, clear all the way down to the bottom, that sound.
It whispers in my heart.
“I’m sorry I spit in your drink.”
You put your arm around me, elbow akimbo around my neck. Pull me close. Lick my throat. Breath cools my skin. I shiver.
We stumble down this road, pitch and roll.
Some people will call this the worst example of a co-dependant, abusive relationship. Maybe they’re right. But I believe that somewhere in us we’re all suffering and it takes everything we have to deal with it. For most of us, like the two above, this means we cover it up–head down, arms in, disappear. Get by. Survive. Don’t give too much away and no one will take it, ride us, and leave us broken.
So what drives us together, two bodies colliding, what collision are we hoping, praying, to get in? Drawn on, drawn in, something in us longs for that crash, values it wildly beyond any logical measure.
It’s not the physicality of it. Come closer. Look. Better yet, see. Remember that time when someone—could be anyone, a stranger even—threw wide their door and for that moment there was nothing between you, no you or them at all, just a joining that leaves you wrecked. From then on we’re junkies, searching the rest of our lives for the handle to that door.
Not lust. Love. Know me. Crawl inside me. Live there. If I hand you my heart, will you know how to hold it? This is what we are longing for—to be stripped by someone and recognized.
Our problem is the face we put on in the morning is not the face we were born with. Even if we’re so far gone we’ve forgotten that.
And that means, in that split-second when we have a chance to open up and reach out to someone, chances are we can’t switch faces. That’s a true cause of suffering–the illusion of separation pierced, and us helpless to make anything of it.
Whatever the violences of our lives, inside and out, whatever the wreckage we leave in our wake, every one of us is capable of being transfixed by those moments of complete knowing. It explains a lot. Maybe everything.
These roots go deep.