The music flows around and through me. I close my eyes and see it shimmer, skimming my skin. I feel it when I inhale. I breathe a heavy sigh and put my pen to pad, thinking to write some profound tidbit. But leave a trail of doodles instead. Take a sip of wine. Funny, I never drank much before you.
Tilt my head back and sing the words, so familiar. They hug me like an old friend. “Never is a promise. And I’ll never need a lie.” I feel the tears swell inside my soul—but my eyes are wrung free of them. It’s a wordless hell that grips me. Put down the wine. Pick up the pen. Say the words. They’re there just on the cusp, waiting to spill like water from a broken glass. Transparent and devoid of purpose they flow from me, entwining with the piano. Sing with robotic notes. “You’ll never feel the heat of this soul.”
Now come the tears. How they sputter and trickle. How they claw at me dragging me down into the abyss. I fall to my knees—a sullen girl—a wreck among wrecks. My hands grip my heart and I swear I feel physical pain. I feel the shards shatter and shift. I hold the space tightly as if I can reach inside my flesh and push the fragments together, as if I can fit the pieces and mend it with super glue. But they twist and scatter. I cling tighter to the spot. My hands are the tourniquet, my heart the seeping valve.
I loved you best of all. Better than I love myself. And for that I’m a stupid bitch. I’m a worthless cunt whose hair falls out in strands. Whose eyes are swollen and whose heart lay in a defecated pile at your feet. Feet that have long since turned and walked away. I feel your absence in ways that paralyze me. Just when the madness has taken me the song reaches its crescendo. I lay on my back staring with vacant eyes at the ceiling.
I need to feel your phantom arms envelope me. Need your ghostly lips to press against my forehead. I need you to say, “Sssh…Kitten, it’ll be alright.” I need it like I need air—because right now everything is all wrong. I wrap my arms around my knees and roll to my side. I know what to say now. I found the words in the pain. I found my voice.
I sit up and put the pen to paper one last time. The words spring to life of their own volition. It’s not much, as it turns out. It isn’t profound or even interesting. All it is, is truth in black ink on yellow legal paper—a mourning that’s beautiful in its simplicity.
“I deleted all of your texts today. When I can breathe again…your emails are next.”
*lyrics from Fiona Apple