I have so many times wondered why I still call you friend, not best friend, not lover, not partner, not boyfriend or old boyfriend, or a man I once knew, or why I still call you anything at all.
I have convinced myself and one or two others (that grain of truth can be such an asset) that this is all thoughtful, logical, a contractual love and affection that works for the now.
And of course, it does, when my heart falls in with the dullness of my brain, and the barely scratching of numb and blind fingers is, for a moment, all that life need offer a woman stuffed full with empty boxes that begin in the cellar and overflow into every living and sleeping space of eternity, until all that boxed up emptiness is the fullness of her existence.
I remember times that cracked open into crisp cold sunshine, prompted by bursts of Yes, I Can, and up from the cellar, forged ahead by breaking through and breaking down, breaking, breaking the boxes– are they really only cardboard? Did I stomp them in my fury? Methodically open them and flatten them and neatly pile them up by the door? Did I forgive the box and welcome the emptiness? Did I welcome the box and forgive the emptiness?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes, and the world opened to light, let it in, let it in…
Since I have known you I have ignored so many things. The boxes in my cellar are spilling their emptiness over in piles and heaps and I cannot even stand to look at the ugly mess for a second. If there was once a beauty there, or for heaven’s sake just a certain orderliness, I have run it down, ripped it out, ravaged it and scavenged it in an attempt to find something … something better? ..and have left it to rot on the cold cement floor.
Oh, if you knew this of me, if you knew you would be hurt without even beginning to understand. The hurt is real, the usury that I have been accused of is true, it’s all true and it always has been. I wait, even hope for false goods, false gods - yes, they are – I know they are, and I pray that I won’t recognize them, that I’ll forget real beauty and grow accustomed to this game of pretending I want what I don’t, what I can’t even stomach, and oh, the game of being hurt because you cannot even offer me what I know I don’t want, but hate myself for wanting, begging, and accepting every little meager nothing you offer me again and again with a smile on my face as if it’s my duty to be as flat and lifeless as the very cardboard I beg to be released from.
I slip into this dead cocoon of waiting (longing?) for the nothingness you dangle in front of me, soothing and comforting you with my yes, it is so good of you to take me out to nice restaurants, what a lucky woman I am, I hold your hand and kiss you and make love to you when you say it’s just not a good idea for you to do any more for me, because we’ll get into a pattern, and I’ll never move myself out of this poverty if I don’t figure it out on my own.
And there I sit, in the very most bottom of my precious box of No, I Can’t …I sit with the empty weight of every reason that I find myself right here in this thoughtful, logical, contractual love that works for the now, every reason why I hate you and love you and beg you for more.