I wake up and see you lying next to me, shoulder smooth and warm beneath my hand as I lean over to kiss you, trying not to wake you up. But you eyes open and you see me head towards the door. I dreamt you were taken away you whisper in that hazy morning drowse that always makes me weak at the knees. Come back you say, sliding your legs out from under the white sheets, bare feet planted firmly on the ground. Go back to bed I say, and you obediently tuck yourself back up into your comfort world of heavy blankets and the warm spot beside you that still smells like me. I smile and leave the door open a crack before walking down the hallway, pictures watching every step I take. The keys are on the counter, but I leave them for you, grabbing the spares off the rack. You know I’m leaving, but you don’t know how soon. I can’t live without moving, and all you want is to a safe place. I want to stand with you, but I’m still dizzy from the constant movement of the ground beneath my feet, and no matter how much liquor I down, I’m still always shifted into third gear, moving, moving and no amount of anything can keep me grounded. You’ve been sleeping next to a lie for the past two months, a lie that you swear is all you've ever believed in. I slip into the car; I’m taking mine because I’m already leaving with your heart, and I don’t want to leave any more damage in my wake. I cruise down the freeway, heading for the ocean. I’m sorry. You know that everything will be okay. I’m not coming back, but I left you a note, slipped under the door frame of the guest bedroom that I slept in when you were mad at me. I missed you those nights, but I guess it was all for the better. The endless dark falling all around me like silken dusk your hair, staring at the mirror over the door and wondering what I could do to fix this, has helped me cope with the fact that I hate myself for having to leave you. I’m almost to the beach now, and I miss you more than ever. I hope the weather is warm, because I’ve taken your sweater. It’s tucked in my bag, sitting in the seat next to me. Your seat. The seat where you’ve cried, laughed, and eaten cheap Chinese take out because I didn’t have enough money to buy you decent food. But you didn’t complain, and claimed they were the best damn noodles you’ve ever had. I’m at the beach now and all the waves remind me of how you always loved the ocean. I want to give into everything about you because you are everything. And I know this is some sentimental crap but it’s all I have left. Hey, you’re something beautiful. I’m out of the car now, and the sand is sticking to the bottom of my shoes, all up around the edges like it got stuck there by glue. I should take my shoes off, but I really don’t see the point, 'cause I need my shoes where I’m going. The rocks are over there, where a bunch of yellow tapes been wound around poles and over the little fence that keep people like me from getting onto the jetty and seriously hurting themselves. I guess they’ve found a body. I’m walking away now, away from that too gaudy yellow tape. It should be a crime to have something so damn bright as a declaration of destruction. There’s no reason to be in the same place as the dead, because I’m afraid it will remind me of myself. I don’t want to hurt you, and this is all I can think of to do to keep you pure. Because you won’t need shoes where you’re going, 'cause the ground isn’t so hot in heaven. I don’t know where I’m headed, but for now, my hell will be everywhere you’re not. I love you, and this is goodbye.
I Wake Up
February 19, 2008