He sings to me. His voice, I hear it in the aching grind of the earth’s steady turn. It calls to me from the radio, seeking me out, a cat in the shadows that never pounces. This gives me hope.
I’m a cynical bitch most times. I believe in nothing, but I play the game just the same. I commute, I consume, I wear out men like shoes. It looks tough, but anyone who knows me understands that it’s a way of keeping the scream silent.
My husband loved me before he got his band of gold on me. I loved him too, even after the unmasking. I loved him because I wanted to love rather than hate. I loved him because to admit otherwise would have made plain the comfortable hell that was the nice house. Which was everything I ever wanted. Used to want.
But he’s different. I know it. He’s never commented on my weight, or questioned me about my drinking, or tried to make me his handbag. He’s the ideal, the yet to be, the one who…
I surround myself with him sometimes, wrapping my arms around my torso to have some semblance of his embrace. I kiss the back of my hand the way he will one day, just to know that lips can feel like that. His song fills my senses like sweetness in the veins, like the desire to pass out. So narcotic.
He visits me in such episodes, eyes flashing in the dark of the forest. He is the rustle heard off stage. Ominous but reassuring. He is on his way to me.
I wonder how it is I came to feel like this, and I think about therapy as a way to get perspective on this unwarranted faith. Surely a sensible voice will put a stop to this delusion. There must be a pill for this malady, a cure for love.
My heart is like a dam cracking, fissures in the wall widening by fractions, each beat breaking another layer loose. I want it to end in a flood, knowing that the waters of cataclysm will soon settle into a placid river. Having washed all the detritus away.
This is my world, my imaginary universe.
I catch the train to work subsumed in the mad poetics. He sings to me as I get ready to clock on. But why do I sing back? How is it that a jaded, somewhat faded career hack can hold onto the certainty of miracles? I am too clever for this. High functioning, low maintenance. Independent. I know this is not good for me.
The sun wakes up the day, tides rise and fall, earth returns to earth, and I am in love with the idea of the one who will love me with an equivalent insanity. All my logic, every ounce of my common sense overwhelmed. Truly, there are oceans to drown in.
He is like my god, my unmatched half, the last part of me. I will forget this blizzard of noise when I wake in the quiet his arms. His kiss will clean the world.
Detail is a liar dressed as understanding, and it will all mean nothing when I feel his weight next to me.
He’s there, I just know it, a stone’s throw beyond the perimeter fence. Sitting in the next carriage. Waiting at the café I walk past every lunchtime. Around the corner from the gym I work out at. He is as real and invisible as the chorus of my latest favourite love song. I find myself dancing in a swoon when he’s on the airwaves.
I don’t tell a lot of people this, for obvious reasons. It’s way too crazy, too real. When I cut it all down, this is who I am.
I am the dream of love.
It’s me. Nothing greater, nothing less than I.
I read the advice, chant the affirmations, book myself into the meditation retreats; but thus I remain. Right here. Where he can see me. Don’t tell me I should stop dancing to this song. Not now. Not when he’s so close.
He is the droplet that falls from the branch after downpour. He is the scent of salt in the cool ocean air. He is the papery shush of dry leaves being kicked. He is the way I brush my hair. He is the first thought of the day.
I can touch him, feel the static buzz of his hand just a razor’s cut from mine. I am already attuned to the muted circles of his breathing, so nearly tasting the skin on the back of his neck.
Is this him knocking? This, his shadow on the doorframe?
I am caught out, not quite ready for the smell of another on my skin. But I cannot keep him out. The key is his will.
Oh yes he will…he most certainly will…because he knows where I am.