Bent Words

Bent Words

October 07, 2006

She said she would not call. Never again. Not ever. She thought of this as she stared at her phone and pictured him in his ‘Playground Scene.’ The one where he’s standing near the simple wire fence on a cool fall day with the leaves gathered ‘round him like a sullen memorial for his feelings. The yellow playground sign behind him – and yet no playground.

But that’s how he looks, she thought, when he thinks of me.

Head down, at a slight angle, eyes peering at the ground. He sees her in his heart sometimes. But he tells no one about this. He could not tell anyone that he still thinks of her. Every once in awhile.

And, for some reason, he was thinking of her today. Although he was leaving on a trip with someone else – someone other than her – he could not help but think about how fun she would be on this trip. How she would have probably booked a Jacuzzi room as she always did. Added too much bubble bath, as she always did.

That’s why she wanted to call him. She could simply feel that he was thinking of her. She could see his down-turned eyes, sparkling at the scene upon the ground. The scene that’s not quite yet lost…

Fireflies dotting the darkness, like stars mingling up in the sky. The hot smell of a humid mid-summer night playing with the windshield of their vehicle – causing dampness to cling to either side. His hand never left her knee and she never quit looking at him from the corner of her eye. Not until he suddenly stopped the vehicle and came to her side, searching to steal a kiss.

She wondered if he remembered that night. So long ago. So distant. How he loved her. And how could that have faded? How could he fade? How could this world let him fade?

She supposed he had not faded. He would not fade and he would not die. But then again, she would never know. It was not her right to know – not her place. As though a place she ever had. Outside of her home – her real home – she did not have a real place.

And she wondered still…

How can you misplace a person? A person like me, she thought, so misplaced. So out of place and out of places to go.

She left her phone on the table and walked away into the night. She let him sink within her soul – despite her proper judgment – and she walked and walked and walked and plodded on until she could not hear him any longer. Or see his down-turned face. Or feel his forever lips. Or smell the crook of his arm. She walked until she could not comprehend the meaning of his words or the last glance within his eyes. She followed the river past the trees until she could not feel his breath or his dimples deepening upon her cheek.

And then all the world was still. As silent as that playground scene. As sullen as those down-turned eyes. As surreal as those dots of fire in the sky coupled with a burning kiss. One of those places, far away, that she no longer belonged to.

As though she ever did belong.


Written at 9:15 p.m.