Bent Words

Bent Words

May 29, 2009


I lied.

When you passed by I wore an exaggerated smile. Accompanied by an amplified laugh. I turned my head away with artificial finesse. I feigned extreme interest in a party whose face I can no longer recall. At all. My elaborate gestures, formed to supplement my false enthusiasm, were completely bogus and made possible only as a result of my lacking desire to magnify my internal insanity.

And what you did not see was that every breath was caught by each figure that formed at the sun-filled door. Every time it was not you felt like every time. I waited to see you. I dragged the minutes heavily across the floor. I passed the moments in between our next meeting by not hearing a single word from a single one of the day's customers. They asked me about mileage. They asked me about horse power. They asked me about price. I followed up their ceaseless inquiries with noise.

You came into the room. You finally came into the room. I was at the counter looking up the price of a windshield. I rattled my fingernails on the counter. I thought it would cover the pounding of my heart in my temples. I listened to the parts guy present part numbers and prices but heard only your footsteps. I watched your every move from the corner of my eye. You got close. I shivered. I could smell the soap from your shower. You asked me how I was doing. I said I was great. I forced a tone of indifference that sprang from my lips as easily as novice fingers plug Mozart from a piano. I watched with pale complacency as you walked away, defeated.

I told you I was okay. I said that I was great. I wanted you to believe. It was all okay. That you left me, indecisively, for elsewhere. Torn between obligation and a permanent vacation. As though the two could not be combined.

I went out. I danced. I danced with feigned joviality. I lost myself to liquor and traded a moment of your memory to an abandoned reality. The one place I knew you'd never go. I went without you but I never went any place without you. When you showed up unexpectedly, I was lost in another's arms. I created the biggest distraction for me and the most magnificent reaction for you. I smiled in the moment but I never saw his face.

And what you did not see were the tears in the bar's bathroom mirror. The skewed hope of my direction. To leave or to stay. I did not have your permission. I could not run to you and I could not run away. I could not jump over the indecision or bury myself underground until the verdict was drawn. I had no certain path to follow. What road led me back to you? Sudden impulse. If I let you be or if I persisted? Defiant rage. If I turned away or if I followed? Quieted heart. Patience or pretending? False joy. The weighted blindfold, the lack of certainty, the haywire steering. Allow the loss or pursue THE love?

I understood the struggle but never recovered from the fight.

So I lied.

Written at 11:04 p.m.