Monday, January 19, 2009

Shadow Man

Your lips are against the curve of my ear. I hear your whispering something, your breath tickling my hair, your jaw brushing the side of my skull.

You tell me you understand. You tell me that you are with me every moment of every day, watching me live. You wait in bookstores while I read, curled up in an armchair, and sit with me in diners until I leave at odd hours of the morning. You ride with me, sitting in my passenger seat, the highway crumbling beneath my wheels. You watch me dance late at night, until my clothes are plastered to my body and I cannot stop smiling.

At night, in bed, you run your hand through my hair, and down the curve of my spine. You stroke me until I sleep, and stay up the night, watching me.

You're a beast, a predator. You understand me better than anyone. You know the dance, the games, the engineering of movements. You understand the bait dangling and the teasing, the shy smiles and the "accidental" contact between two people. You know what it is to find someone or something you want, and how to analyze the situation before driving towards it, full speed. You understand my need for solitude, you reflect with me late at night, read over my shoulder as I write for hours.

You know why I move alone. You understand the multiple social groups and the continued aloofness. You understand what is it to unintentionally intimidate those around you. You know what it is like to have a past years long gone continue to haunt your footsteps, to step into a room of old acquaintances and have them all turn to you with expectations.

You know what it is like to constantly be in your own head, always slightly separated from the moment, part of you always watching and detached from everyone and everything else. You share with me those moments when a person says something so wrong, so outside their experience, and pretend, just for a moment, that you agree with them so you can appear normal, undamaged. Like them.

We're both masses of scar tissue, strong and serene. Beautiful and damaged, but still functioning. We've embraced it all, we've embraced each other. We know we need pain to grow, we need those twinges running through our souls that make us think, make us more.

You know what it is like to burn.

I'll find you. Somehow, I will find you.

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