Last Week | Teen Ink

Last Week

April 27, 2016
By angelalucia GOLD, Milford, Massachusetts
angelalucia GOLD, Milford, Massachusetts
16 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I am this fiery snail crawling home"- Bukowski

He had never peeled an orange correctly, and he was insecure about it. He had dug a hole in his jeans at the left knee simply because his right knee had one. He had just enough hair to fit in a small ponytail, but he had never actually worn it that way because he would have felt too exposed. It was a simple science: Super Wal-Marts are too big, swivel chairs are too unstable and black holes are too scary.
On Monday, he had read somewhere, an article about Seven Different Ways the Universe Could Destroy Itself Without Warning.
On Tuesday he entertained the idea that suicide may be the same as an entire collapse of the universe- selfish but at the same time not.
“Like…probably…the universe wouldn’t have collapsed if it had any other options,” he suggested, out loud, to his bathroom mirror.
“My life shouldn’t end this close to a toilet.” Each hands gripped either side of the white sink and his small voice echoed down the drain.
“This is crazy. This is crazy, and she’s not coming back.” He met his reflection with a red face and shaking hands.
He had missed the girl loudly, with shrieks and cold sweats. He spent time imagining a full night of undisrupted sleep, a sweet emptiness that would come from not being heartbroken or in love. A sweet nothing of existence that would rock him back in forth at night, in place of the girl.
On Wednesday around 4 am, he began organizing all of his clothes by color, size and interest. He threw away the jacket he had worn on their first date, the one he tried to drape over her small withdrawn shoulders.  He threw away the black socks with cats on them, mostly because he thought they were impractical, the scarf that matched his navy blue pea coat, the navy blue pea coat, the record Elvis Presley’s Famous Hits, and the small transformer toy from a McDonald’s Kid’s Meal- the only thing she had ever given him.
He sat awkwardly on his bed imprisoned by piles of clothes, separated by sizes, colors and interest; he tried not to sink in too deep. He imagined himself burning the whole thing. He would lay the mattress down outside her window, rip holes in it for dramatic effect, dump some lighter fluid on it and set it ablaze. The fire would light up her eyes in the window just enough so he could see a tear or two stream down.
“Is this what you wanted?” he would scream, flailing his arms around him, like the angry dirty people on the train that made him uneasy.
“Because this is how it is!” he would continue, thinking about falling on his knees if the ground wasn’t too grimy.
But he was afraid he’d notice her hair falling differently, or maybe she’d have bangs. Or another man would be in the window with her.
He shook his head vigorously, imaging the bad thoughts pouring out of his ears like lava. He tapped his index fingers to his thumbs and paced from the phone in the kitchen to his bed. He thought maybe if he heard her voice one more time, knowing it would be the last time, it would be okay. It would make sense. It would be linear. Leaving off where they did- so abrupt- it wasn’t healthy, he tried to reason. He walked towards the phone in slow motion, moving one leg up in the air and the other leg holding all of his weight. He had always liked slow motion. It felt calm and clean. When his head stopped shaking and his hands slowed down, he reached for the phone. Outlining each number on the keypad, he traced her fingerprints and remembered the smell of her black nail polish. The color her mother had hated and always bothered her about. He thought about wherever she might b e, whoever she might be with, and what color her nails were now.
He hung up the phone and quietly felt very bad.
On Thursday, he took a walk. With three black garbage bags full of clothes, separated by color, size and interest, he felt adrift and unexpectedly contented. He liked the idea of being somewhere she hadn’t, breathing air that had never touched her lungs. It all felt so clean, like something in slow motion. He held his breath past a Super Wal-Mart advertisement on the street. He tried to not picture the giant isles filled with things he could never use. He tried not to picture the giant florescent lights turning off and him being trapped there overnight because he could never find his way out. It was a simple science: Super Wal-Marts are too big, swivel chairs are too unstable and black holes are too scary.
At The Salvation Army, he moved quickly without looking up. He watched the worn down shoes of other people shuffle around him as if on a dance floor. The bottoms of most peoples’ pants were either too short or too long. When they were too long, he tensed up because the pants would curve under the heel of the shoe, collecting dirt and germs. But when they were too short, he was nervous because he was sure their ankles would be too cold.
He too shuffled his way to the desk, dancing around the other people. Waiting in line, he began to imagine everyone walking in slow motion. The floor was white instead of gray concrete. And she had never left him. As the people walked slowly, moving one leg up in the air as the other leg held all of their weight, he admired the length of their pants, perfectly rested above their shoes. 
“I can help whoever’s next” the woman behind the counter spoke sweetly. He walked towards her, finally lifting his head slowly. He kept a respectable distance away from the Plexiglas counter that was smudged and stained, sure a cluster of toddlers had put their mouths on it at some point.  But he got close enough to notice the woman’s eyes were the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. And her mouth, the most beautiful mouth he had ever seen.
“Hi, you have some donations for us today?” her beautiful mouth said.
“Um…” He lifted the bags over the counter, leaning in with his arms and upper body, being very careful not to move a step closer. He entertained the idea of asking her on a date, somewhere clean and quiet like a doctor’s office but with food and a bland acoustic performance. He opened his mouth to speak,
“Thanks so much for your donation, have a nice day,” she summoned. His head moved back down and shuffled his way to the door and out on the street where the smell of must and mothballs was replaced with the smell of smog and cigarette smoke. There was never anywhere to breathe. He had missed his chance. He felt as if he could crawl back, but the ground was too soiled.
He wondered where the woman with the beautiful mouth lived, what her bedroom looked like. He wondered if the way she dressed outside of her work uniform was monochromatic, or if maybe she dressed in all pastels. He imagined her sitting at a kitchen table, peeling an orange perfectly. But then he imagined a man there with her too. How dare that man? They were in love.
A couple blocks from his apartment he thought about running back to the store, grabbing his bags of clothes and setting them on fire outside the store window.
“How could you love another man? After what we experienced?” He would bring a towel this time to spread out under his knees.
“What about your eyes? They way they met mine!” He continued with shrieks and bursts of sobs. He was uninterested in a life without her.
When he arrived back at his apartment, he collapsed on his bed as a refuge, a place the woman with the beautiful mouth had never been.

On Friday he met himself in the bathroom mirror, “It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all,” he tried to reason. He traced his fingers around his mouth, imagining it was hers. He inspected his eyes for traces of similarities to hers.
“It is better to have loved and lost,” he repeated, his hands gripping the sink.
“It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all,” his voice echoed down the small drain.

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