I do not know you. I never have. You’ve never spoken to me. You’ve spoken, and I’ve stolen those words, rubbed them together and made a tiny fire of them. I don’t think you even missed them.
I don’t need them anymore. Someone speaks to me even better now. Better even than I thought anyone ever could. At least, to the likes of me. I didn’t think the speaking would hit so at the core. I didn’t think I could be tender. I didn’t think I could care, and didn’t think anyone would be patient enough to wait for the words to fall to the bottom of the well, and would be pleased with the results. Fantastic miracles.
I wonder what your words would sound like shaped like thus sometimes though. Not because I want something different. I just wonder. I don’t know where I left yours, so I can’t melt them down and fold them his-mouth-shaped. I’ve mostly forgotten what they sounded like. I won’t go looking for them now. It doesn’t matter anymore.
You are a collection of yous. Snake-shaped, reedy, flat, narrow, dark, tall, inked, all sorts of you. With ease, with great care, suspicious, happy, brilliant, lonely, haunted, with all sorts of things I thought I wanted and needed. Accents. Money. Power. Children. Dogs. Malaria. (I think in plot, so yes, sometimes you have malaria. I want to take no responsibility, but I suppose I did do that to the figment that is you.)
The mind still wanders, even when the heart does not. So strange. Before, I was in such great pain when the head would turn the key in the box and pick up the words. Wanted the Him to do Something Different, please be Someone Else. Be the Man We Both Promised He Would Be. But it’s strange now. I think of you, all of the gelatinous permutations of you, and I still wonder sometimes what you’re doing. Right now. Do you even know I exist, for example, do you know that. Did you notice when I sacrificed a bean for you at the altar of my boredom. Did you care when I bought something I thought was made in your country, or at least stopped in front of that section of foods in the supermarket, did you feel a tiny pulse of cold or hot or lukewarm wet air like a sneeze on the tip of your ear, the good one, the one that you can still hear out of (brain tumor–I am terrible).
I don’t think you do. I don’t think you ever did. The ones who want these ones don’t want to be wanted by those ones, do they? It’s the human condition. Along with pain. Pain and I-don’t-like-you-like-that-but-thanks-I-guess. It’s so rarely so right. That’s why plot is so juicy and relatable, because love and desire are so dicey.
And I still think about you now and again.
I thank you for this: it’s because of you that I am writing. He makes me happy, he satisfies me, he reads my work and encourages me. (I do not think I will give him this.) You never did. But if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t do this. So I thank you. Even though you never, ever liked me like that. How could you? You’re less than half of a ghost. And I think you may want to see a doctor. Soon.