The only mementos I have are an empty packet of mentos and his sweat in my hair. I knew from the start that it was a temporary romance but leaving still hurt. Still hurts. He made me stare him in the eyes while we fucked, in rooms whose curtains didnt stop the sunlight. I exposed myself, I let him see parts of me I’ve been hiding for a long time. Our mouths weren’t perfect for each other but that’s okay. He was inappropriate and immature but that’s okay too. He was unapologetically human. He made me laugh. He never hesitated to hold my hand or kiss me on the forehead. He was intense and he let me be intense. He had beautiful lips.

Only one week, but I could already smell the kind of fights we would have, could already taste our incompatibility. But I liked him, and he liked me, and I have learnt not to ask questions about chemistry. There was something we got from each other. Our fingertips sought each other out. I wanted to protect him. Still do.

We were sad and drunk on our last night, sitting on a dirty beach with my arms wrapped around his knees, and his face in my hair. I inhaled the fusion of the space between us.

I got home this morning and I have spent all day in bed, my heart wringing with the sharp ache of goodbyes. He was beautiful, but I suspect that it hurts like this because I remember now what it’s like to be held, how it feels to put light in someone’s eyes. I remember how the ocean between you and the world can become swimmable only because one person drops an anchor. This hurts the way frozen fingers hurt when they thaw. This hurts because I can imagine again, how it feels to be loved.

I think it’s time I was loved again.


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I drink, I laugh, I smoke, I write.

7 thoughts on “Thawing”

      1. Hindsight, yes. I think, too, that words reside just below skin deep – thus we can draw from them quickly. But the truth of a word is far deeper and is far larger than the word itself. This is where words, specific words at specific times (or specific lines), gain all the power they will ever have. It takes time for all things to soak us through, but in the mean we can examine moments: roll them across our tongues, let all of our senses remind us, and get the full measure of them…until suddenly we are soaked and the words spill out because we can no longer contain them. So there may, indeed, be other words that find their home in the lines above. But the emotion arriving in that last line…that you should never trim off. Just such a magnificent clarity!

  1. This ‘But the truth of a word is far deeper and is far larger than the word itself,’ yes.

    In case I haven’t said this before, Ben, I love the way you see me and my writing!

    1. Your writing resonates with me personally, but there’s a wider appreciation. I love the way you are and I hope you love that, too. You are courageous in the midst of yourself and tenacious as well…so many other things but I won’t make this a novel. Mostly, you are very, very rare…and I know it’s one thing to read that here and another to carry it with you there, but I hope very much that you see that. I hope you are surrounded by people who can remind you and that you’ve kept close to you the ones over the years who can as well. So while an intimate relationship with words should never be taken for granted, it’s that rarity as a person that makes your expression so powerful.

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