You had made me crab legs (my favorite) because I was so poor I could barely eat.. and then we went out. I remember sleeping on your super comfy couch.. I explained that I couldn't sleep any other way, which was true at the time. You understood. Part of me wishes it was still true. So I slept on your couch, letting its squishy cushions hold me, as I always wanted a woman to; melting into its softness, letting the Valium envelop my dreams, my body, my lips, in a cotton ball infused numbness I would be chasing for more than a decade to come. I didn't know that at the time. I thought we just had this weird connection... I thought we just bonded in a way I hadn't before and wouldn't again.
I woke up the next day and got into my car without waking you. I felt hungover and torn up from the hours of sex and talking and all the rest... but I ignored it; pressing forward as one does... My body had different plans. I ended up back in your apartment after a semi-awkward interaction with your ex that would have been way more awkward had there not been so much Valium the night before... I lay on your couch, spinning from the love or the drugs (one can never be sure), and you placed crushed ice on my head... petting me gently... giving me what one might call love.
And so we both started and ended our affair.
3 or 4 weeks later, it was over, and you were dead... Died in the arms of another woman. Part of me is grateful for that fact, I'll admit... Because had I been that woman... had I witnessed and felt all of that, I don't know if I ever would have recovered... But part of me doesn't know if I have, regardless; with sentences full of ellipses... breaking ideas into half thoughts; Valium cushioned ideas... incomplete and unfinished.
10 years later, your death and all the death that followed marks my life like a scarlet letter... My therapist says this is understandable and normal... So many people have died... But I need a therapist to tell me that.
And here I am, ten years later... Trying to whisper "stay" into my ear... softly rubbing my ear, as she does with babies... shhhhh... stay.... trying so hard to remember that... trying so hard not to run... trying so hard not to revert back into the cotton ball Valium infused mournings of crushed ice and crab legs.