Register Sunday | June 17 | 2018

From Miles and Miles

"Good night, sweet girl."

When you told me tonight that you were going to London in August my heart leapt. I mean it leapt, up to my throat, the top of my mouth, through my skull and out somewhere I cannot even know. I thought that you meant you were going to London. Really going to London. Going to London like I’ll be seeing you soon, maybe even in August or at least early in September. At your sister’s. It seemed like what we both hoped about but never talked over. And I imagined it, the meeting. Seeing you again. Two years later. Coming home and staring at my friends with a sideways smirk on my face, knowing that I was right all along, that this is what I think it is, that you are the thing I tattooed on my back. That single head with arms and legs split down the middle; two halves of a body with one head.

I’ve never been one who believes in the theory that two people become one, but I do believe in soul mates. But you knew that. In fact you are that. I hate the ceremony implied in religious weddings that says when two souls bind they form one entity. It makes no sense. Does it make any sense to you? I’d rather keep my identity, you keep yours, partners in crime, make it the way both want to. Look at it like paths, like some misdirected Robert Frostian vision or version of love, and I will walk mine. You damn sure need to walk yours, and stay to it. We could stroll, paths joined by not touching, just side by side, heading in the same direction.

And then you finished. My head returned, it had taken 1/100th of a second for me to go there, and just as fast for you to call me back. You were going for two weeks. Not for good. Not like we both thought. And my heart returned to me, battered and shredded, as it always does with you. And I thought, Why do you do this to me? Why do I keep doing this to myself? What the fuck are we doing to each other? My pride should kick in, does kick in, and I think that this is it, should be it. It's not right, the way this has gone. Every other relationship it's taken far less for me to bounce my way out. When it comes to you, though, up is down for me; it's all backwards, left is wrong and right is what we are doing. Right?

The answer lies in that talk we had over a week ago. In what you said about your family, about how much you miss and need them. How close to tears you were. And I made a joke. A stupid joke. But you laughed and I realized that is something I am good at. Bringing you back subtly, sometimes with a stupid laugh. Sometimes I just tell you I love you, you whisper it back. It’s that connection, that response to each other, that knowing without saying. Just that, the soul mate thing I talked about before.
Not all greed is bad for the soul. There is the greed that seeks out life, that demands another day, hunts for grace at a fevered pitch. The greed that accepts nothing less than how great it can be. This is the greed I feel for you.

I understand. You’re going to see your sister. I cannot imagine what that will be like. For that, I’m happy. And I won’t surprise you, but you know that already. But it hurt to hear, my hopes, the things I think that we don’t speak of, or at times speak far too much of. I understand. And it hurt. But you are still, to this day, my soul mate. Whether in Australia, or London, or, perhaps one day soon, even here. That part doesn’t change. Good night, sweet girl.