Words are Hard

Essay

My whole body froze the moment I saw you through the windshield of my car. We had just ended a phone conversation where I was instructed to wait on you to come find me in the crowded parking lot. Before we met in person, the only interaction we had was through texts and short phone conversations like this one. It wasn’t until I locked eyes with you, without the security of my phone in my hands, that I realized I was in big trouble. I watched your tall, dark, and dangerous frame strut its way across the parking lot towards my car as I slowly began to thaw out. Your bad boy demeanor still had me fixated, and I could no longer hold in the cuss words that began spewing out of my mouth.

That first date still haunts me. What we had that night was extremely natural and comfortable. When I met you I felt an instant connection. It seemed as if I was with someone I had known forever. I couldn’t explain that rare feeling to anyone, not even myself. And that’s why it has taken me this long to write it all down, because words are hard. So I decided to put this so-called thing into stages.

I guess we can call the first stage flirty and naive. I’ll make the month of April simple. We met, we hung out several times, and then I found out about someone else in your life. Things got messy. I didn’t want to freak out when I found out about her, I just wanted to know what this interaction meant for us. I came over, we talked about it some, but nothing was resolved. That was one of the only times we communicated about what was going on. I knew we weren’t anything official, but when you told me that I was in the same category as her it hit me to the core. And when you wouldn’t answer my main question about the circumstance we found ourselves in, I knew I had to leave without another word. I’m afraid to admit that neither of us could muster up the guts to say what we really wanted to say at that night, because words are hard.

The second stage was when I became foolish and careless. Also known as: whatever happened after the month of April. It was plain and simple we were hooking up though. I knew it, you knew it, and it was discussed… but not really. When we were together everything felt typical. You were drunk, we were both tired of work, and I was more than willing to come over to try and make things better. I didn’t care though because I knew I could always be myself around you. I felt at ease in this familiar routine. But at one point we weren’t on the same page during that summer. You were working your ass off and I was traveling across the United States trying not to think about my job. But I know that didn’t keep you from talking to her and it didn’t keep me from talking to other guys. I would try to contact you when I was back home for a bit, but there were times I didn’t get a reply. I thought this meant you had moved on, in a literal sense. You had to leave and move to the next project for work. No reply was fine, at that time, because continuing something that would eventually have to end wouldn’t make much sense. But I learned in July that you were still here and we saw each other again after my travels. That time together was short but when our hookups turned into you sharing personal information about work or your family I’d wonder… why? Are you just trying to make conversation before getting me into bed? Or are you truly sharing this information because you felt comfortable doing so? Either way I didn’t get it. Your behavior suggested that you wanted something legitimate, but at one point you told me you didn’t want that. That’s when this whole thing became confusing and difficult for me. But I guess I understand now why we didn’t talk about it, because words are hard.

That final stage was when I turned into someone hopeful and observant. Time had passed and it had been awhile since our last interaction. July was over and my school year was about to begin when I found out something awful had just happened to you. I wanted to make sure you were fine, so when we met up again I pretended like you hadn’t ignored me for the remainder of July. You told me about the surgery and I found out about the next place you were excited to move to. This time around it seemed as if everything would get better. This incident brought out a new side of you that I had never seen before. Your injury was a difficult subject to talk about but you weren’t afraid to tell me. Just like you weren’t afraid to tell me about your new home you would be moving to in October. A place I had considered home for twenty years. I wondered if your incident brought us back together again for this reason. A reason I couldn’t yet explain. We spent the next two months learning more about the other person through dinner dates and honest conversations. I like to think that we evolve as people, and I knew during this time that you weren’t the same guy I had met back in April. Just like I wasn’t the same naive, flirty, careless, and foolish girl. But there are certain parts of us that we can never change. You seemed afraid of goodbyes and I couldn’t find the courage to tell you how I really felt during each of these stages. I thought I knew you better this time around, but I guess I was wrong. You left me in October without a simple goodbye and then moved ten minutes away from where I grew up… because words are hard?

I never wanted to tell you any of this because I always thought it was bad timing. I never wanted to tell you any of this because I always thought that you wouldn’t be here for long, so why bother. I never wanted to tell you any of this because I always thought we were just having fun, no strings attached. I never wanted to tell you any of this because communication is my weakness. I never wanted to tell you any of this because at one point I thought we would be fine. But now I have run out of excuses of why I never wanted to tell you any of this. So here it is. I guess words really aren’t that hard.

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Toothpaste, Ketchup, and Yellow Trucks

Poetry

I have a list that goes on for miles

I made it the other day.

I wrote down all the things that remind me of you

stuff I should probably throw away.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

I have to bid adieu.

But I really want to tear it up

and pretend like this is all untrue.

It begins with the orange toothpaste,

something I used anytime

I was over at your place.

I recall the mint flavor on your tongue,

but now that usual sweet taste

has left me bitter and stung.

Next is the bottle of ketchup I see,

sitting there in my fridge

obviously taunting me.

The brand is your last name

written in caps and bold.

I wish I could let it just sit there

but my heart has switched cold.

The final item I can not throw away,

it is impossible to do so because

I see it almost every day.

Yellow trucks constantly roaming around,

and the second I see one

my walls begin to crumble down.

It might not be the yellow truck that you drive,

but I still look and I swerve

and I barely survive.