Bent Words

Bent Words

August 14, 2007

In an instant, the world turned completely blank before her eyes. She saw nothing of the road, the other drivers, amber turn signals blinking. She did not see the sky – if it was a brilliant blue or streaked with dull tones – and the landscape neither passed her nor spanned before her stoic eyes. If the radio was on, she did not hear it. A CD or a talk show, country or 80s or rock, none of it would have registered. None of it would have mattered.

Driving to work that morning, she could have sworn she saw his face behind the wheel of a white van.

The next Tuesday, he was on two wheels and, as she flew by with a nod, she imagined him to hit the brakes and, suddenly, turn up somewhere not far behind. She checked her hair, frowned at her attire and wondered if she looked drained from the night before. Perhaps he would come up on her quickly, eager with anticipation but not sure just what to do. He would pull up directly beside her window and she would try to allay the shaking of her palms, smile as though this were somehow normal and expected. He would signal to her that she should follow and she would; oh how she would follow. Then he would turn onto some country road he somehow knew because he always seemed to know every single road as though it were a piece of required education in high school – in every high school except her own. He would pull over, stopping briefly before removing his helmet and he would watch her in his left hand mirror as she exited the car. How she seemed to move in slow motion – her hair trailing off behind her with the wind of this fielded countryside, her fingers reaching up to remove her sunglasses as though she were in disbelief, wearing false lenses that only allowed one to see what they wanted to see, and the way she smiled as if the dusty road amounted to the greatest gift that she could be given. She wouldn’t be able to look away, noting every detail and storing every breath and it wouldn’t matter how the years had changed them. Such a frivolous use of time to remark upon or even notice these minute differences and, besides, those things wouldn’t matter.

“Hi,” he would say.

His voice. That voice. The one she heard inside her head a million times. That quiet, deep, milky voice – could she hold onto it forever?

“Despite our obstacles, despite our differences, despite our firmest distance, we still come back to each other. We never really give up – we never have – not on each other. I can’t quit you and you can’t quit me, even if we wanted. We always come back here, to this spot within our hearts, as though it were meant to be, as though this were the only truth.”

“Happy Birthday,” she would barely manage to reply.

I thought you'd be out of my mind
And I'd finally found a way to learn to live without you
I thought it was just a matter of time
Till I had a hundred reasons not to think about you

But it's just not so
And after all this time, I still can't let go

I've still got your face
Painted on my heart
Scrawled upon my soul
Etched upon my memory, baby

I've got your kiss
Still burning on my lips
The touch of my fingertips
This love so deep inside of me, baby

I've tried everything that I can
To get my heart to forget you
But it just can't seem to

I guess it's just no use
In every part of me
Is still a part of you

And I've still got your face
Painted on my heart
Scrawled upon my soul
Etched upon my memory, baby

I've got your kiss
Still burning on my lips
The touch of her fingertips
This love so deep inside of me, baby

I've still got your face
Painted on my heart
Painted on my heart
Painted on my heart, oh baby

Something in your eyes keeps haunting me
I'm trying to escape you
And I know there ain't no way to
To chase you from my mind

I've still got your face
Painted on my heart
Scrawled upon my soul
Etched upon my memory baby

I've got your kiss
Still burning on my lips
The touch of my fingertips
This love so deep inside of me, baby

Written at 9:07 a.m.