||[Jan. 10th, 2011|11:01 am]
Drunk, he grabs my hand and pulls me to the dance floor. "For old time's sake," he says as though it had been decades since we'd been together. What does that phrase even mean? For the sake of old times, as though our lives depended on remembering for a moment what it felt like to be an "us". I remember well. They are not yet old times.|
The next day, hungover and sullen, I sat on the bed reading. He comes in, rummages through the closet.
"Do you ever wear this shirt anymore?"
"No," I say not looking up from my book.
"What about this one?"
"You're not even looking,"
I look up. It's an old blue flannel shirt, I cut the sleeves off three years ago and drenched it with fake blood as part of a Halloween costume.
"No, I won't wear that anymore,"
"Why are you being so mean?"
"I'm not. I'm reading,"
I never cared for clothes. He should know that.
Later I hear the sewing machine and know my shirts are now becoming what I assume to be another abandoned project: a coat, a bag, a blanket half-finished and left behind because he got hungry. But an hour passed with the steady hum of the sewing machine and my curiosity pulled me away from reading.
"What are you making?" I say, indignant, almost mockingly. We both know it will amount to nothing more than a lump of fabric, discarded and forgotten amongst the needles and spools of thread.
"A moravian star,"
"That's what you're doing with my old clothes?" You're making a gift for him?
I do not say this last part, only think it, but it's implied in my tone. He's always been too dense for implications. Or at least extraordinarily clever at ignoring them.
"Why does that matter? You said you never wore them."
"That's not the point," I say, but I'm stuck. He wouldn't understand the point even if I explained it to him. That was my old life with him, being deconstructed and stitched together into his new life, with his new love. "You are being dramatic," he would say, and he would be right.
Back in my room, back with my book, I hear someone else ask him about his current project, his gift.
"Yeah, and he's making it with Daniel's old clothes,"
Yes, thank you, at least someone understood.
But he responds, "They're not even his. They're mine. He just wore them,"
For a moment I want to throw my book to the ground and yell out the bedroom door, "No! You're wrong! They were mine,"
But I stop myself. Was he right? Had I even bought that ugly blue flannel shirt? I thought so, on some thrift adventure, maybe that time we went to Goodwill to buy a vacuum, but I wasn't sure. Even so, I could not remember him wearing it even once. If not mine the shirt was at the very least once ours. I'm defeated, and can't stake claim on anything anymore. I'm too unsure of what I own. I don't think it's very much. Certainly not the bed I was sitting on. Maybe the dresser or the step stool where the TV rests? No. I owned the book I was reading, so I continued that.
Last night I dreamed I lived in a cabin. Plain wood floors, plain wood walls. I lived in the attic and I awoke to find the entire downstairs had been painted by him. The brown wood was now covered with blue lilacs on bright canary yellow, and white magnolias on purple. The colors hurt my eyes. I found him still painting, and he asked what I thought. "It's too much," I said. "I liked the way it was before,"
He looked at me, indifferent and continued to paint. I ran up the stairs, smearing still wet lilacs and magnolias with my hands and legs as I went. By the time I reached my bed I was a mosaic of blue, yellow, and purple. I rubbed my hands over my body, mixing the colors, until I was a muddy brown, until I matched the color of the wood in my untouched attic. I know this all sounds very symbolic, but I don't think it is. It's just life, and it's just pain. It was just a dream.
I woke up and finished reading my book.