Sunday, July 15, 2012
These hands are a curse. They remind me that she is no longer here with me, that she can no longer hold me.
These hands are a curse. They remind me that she is no longer here with me, that she can no longer hold me. They are always cold, now. The mornings are the worst. In the years before, each day, I would make coffee for the both of us. We would wait for the light of a new morning. The house would smell like magnolias. She always loved magnolias. As though love itself would rest on the edge of a near wilted petal. We were younger. We could sleep for hours, hours on end. I remember first watching her read, resting her chin on the palm of her hand. Her deep brown eyes would widen as she read a sentence. I would watch her for hours, too afraid to say anything. Too shy to upset the untold love that a reader has for a book.
My hands made the mistake of touching her lightly, a trace of her passion flower shampoo weaving through my fingerprints. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to kiss her. All I remember is the red of her lips as my eyes opened, the small catch of breath as we parted. My fingers have lost their sensation. They are numb. The coffee is always for two, but these days I throw away the paper. Alone, in my bed. Our bed. Her side always perfectly made. The scent of passion flower still lingers as though teasing me, whispering in my ear.
Somewhere, she is alive. Somewhere far away, somewhere out of my reach. It is a curse that these hands cannot hold anything, that they cannot spoon sugar without seasoning the benchtop and the wooden kitchen floors. That they cannot braid a grandchild’s hair, or read a bedtime story to a boy half-asleep. I will sell away all of my dreams, all of my questions. I will give you anything, anything. To spend another day. To watch her reading, to touch her again. Anything.
“This love or whatever you want to call it, it’s the closest thing to real I ever lived through. All the other ones slowly killed a piece of me. Nothing was ever taken for me; parts just started to disappear. I remember looking into the mirror one morning, how I noticed a shade of pink had vanished from my cheeks. Maybe it’s nothing to you, nothing to anybody but me, yet I’ve stayed clear from mirrors ever since, too scared to see that by now there’s nothing left.
I’m telling you this because you should know. You should know that of all the things I said, of all the things I did, of all the parts that together appear to be my life, you are the one I want to remember. If I could keep you, I would, I’d tell you a new story every day and be the best liar the world has ever seen. Instead I write to you, to tell you what I want you to know most of all: Maybe you didn’t get my all, but you sure got my best.”