09 December 2010

we're not over it, oppenheimer

This has been going on for years – at least since I was young enough to still believe that I could run away from my problems. You can’t run away from your problems; and even if you could, they’ll always send a guilty conscience nipping at your heels.  I could count the number of times I made you feel like less than a person. I could throw them all over my shoulder and carry them with me everywhere I go, but it does no good to be sorry if you don't care either way.
Joe passes me a fifth of Jim Beam and I take a big, bitter swig; I know it’s how they operate, but I don’t really feel like getting smacked in the face. We sit around in silence, feeling our hair grow.
“There’s something in it that you can create,” says Alex.
“What do you mean?” I ask -
I open my eyes. I hear clumsy footsteps coming down the hall in my apartment building. I wait for a knock on my door, and pray that it will be you – then I remember, only half awake, that you don’t even know where I live anymore. I close my eyes and go back to sleep.

Next thing I know, I’m laying face up toward the sky in a boat: not a motorboat, but a small, wooden fishing boat. The sort that looks like something my paw-paw would have gone fishing in as a kid in the Mississippi Delta. You’re curled up in a ball, lying next to me; my heart melts and seeps through the tiny cracks at the bottom of the boat. You’re wearing that white dress I used to love so much – the one I accidentally broke at the shoulder four long years ago. “This is a lucid dream,” I mutter under my breath, insisting that I enjoy it while it lasts.

The next morning I warm up in front my gas heater mounted on the wall. It’s finally gotten cold, and the weather suits me; at least for now. My mother comes by to drop off some leftover soup and the ukulele you’ve been asking to get back for six fucking months. It makes me feel better to hear her say that you don’t deserve me, but she would never know it by the look on my face.

Some people say that Robert Oppenheimer may as well have murdered all those people himself when he invented the atom bomb; could it be that you broke my heart the very first time you looked into my eyes? It’s hard to say, but I think so…

-Justen Cheney

1 comment:

Anonymous said...