I think we were meant to meet in the most normal way imaginable.
I don't think I remember much about that day at all. The one thing I can say for certain is that it was in September. It's written in bold in my diary. "Met somebody."
You once stayed up all night, to watch the sky turn from black to an early morning pink to that shade of sunrise. That's what you always called it, "that shade of sunrise".
Sometimes we would just sit next to each other, and let that crisp silence wash over us. "Watch it tiptoe into our bones", were your exact words. Another diary entry.
You were not the kind of person who seemed to enjoy sunsets or lazy afternoon walks by the beach. And yet, those were exactly the kind of things we would end up doing.
You seemed to know an awful lot of things, and I hated books with a passion. And yet, we never ran out of things to talk about. I asked too many questions, and you never got tired of answering.
Is this what love feels like, I once asked after one glass of wine too many. "We'll worry about that later. Let's get you home now." As always, you were the consummate gentleman. Practically perfect in every way.
I think what I enjoyed most was the look of unfeigned shock on your face. When you learned who I was. "I thought you loved me."
I leaned in close, my voice barely a whisper. "Oh I do love you. I wish I could love you without breaking you. Honey, I wish you weren't a killer. And I wish I wasn't a cop."
I must have been the only person who shed a tear when you were sentenced to death.
Today you lay down on the cold hard floor, because yesterday didn't quite go to plan.
Twenty four hours previously, you had written down something on a small piece of paper and crumpled it near the fireplace. You knew how much it would hurt them and you atleast wanted them to know it wasn't their fault.
You had rarely gone to the roof in the five years you had lived in the building. Yet there was nothing in the apartment. So, in a moment of insane clarity, you decided that it had to be the roof.
It was funny how clearly you could think, even in the moment when you were planning to let go of everything. The roof was sufficiently high. That was a plus point. However, you had always been squeamish about blood. And the outcome was always likely to be, for want of a better word, messy.
You let yourself smile, even then as you were counting down the seconds. You had a fear of heights, but you couldn't quite see the ground from so far above, and it was sufficiently dark in any case. You hoped that you wouldn't scream. You prayed that it would be painless.
There was a light breeze blowing as you made your way upstairs. The top of the city. You wondered what it would feel like to be happy at normal things. Whether peace could only wash over you when you had decided to let go off everything.
You wondered how many tears people would shed. How many broken bones there would be. You had never really believed in a deity, but now you found yourself thinking about what came next, if anything did come.
You had seen enough movies, and even though they were only playing a part, they made it look.. oh so easy. Maybe that's what you were doing, you thought, as you clutched the edge of the parapet. Playing a part.
You had always loved physics. All you had to do was jump and gravity would do the rest.
Today you lay down on the cold hard floor, because yesterday didn't go according to plan.
The wind catches your hair, and you have no umbrella. But you don't mind, not really. You are used to wet asphalt now. You slip often, but you get up. There are too many bruises, and one more doesn't really matter.
You knock on the doors of strangers. There is a crushed piece of paper in your faded jeans. It has the address of a place you know very well. But you would rather forget, and each step is a step closer to homelessness. The thought of it brings a smile to your face.
You walk away, farther than ever before. With earphones too soaked, so you play the music on loudspeaker, not caring about the looks you get from others. With a bottle of water, that is diminishing by the second.
You wish you cared for the right kind of people. But you can't help that heart of yours. The one that only knows to love hard and love fiercely. They taught you much, but they didn't teach you how to not care, how to unlove. And now, you can't do it on your own.
You weren't told that some doors are always locked, and no matter how much you try.. you can't break in. Some walls you can't climb. Some bridges you can't cross. So you batter away with your frail fists, and when the blood comes, when you start sinking, you don't push back, because you never have.
They didn't teach you to be alone either. But they didn't need to. You were always content in your own little world. And when it was pointed out that you were actually lonely all this time, you just shrugged. You didn't know the difference between the two, and you didn't care.
Of course I'm not saying that I like you but I'm just trying to figure this out okay. Why a guy would think my car is the reincarnation of his dead grandmother, oh sure it's in the wheel, she rolled like that. And no, I've never tasted carrot ice-cream, or walked in socks filled with oregano. That could be a potentially weird foot fetish.
You tied your harmonica to a helium balloon, you cried when the balloon flew your harmonica away, then bought another harmonica and tied that to another helium balloon. Wait what? Sure, you had an ex girlfriend called Monica though I'm pretty sure it was a cat. And now you hate all cats, the big cats, the small cats. God, you even think monkeys are cats.
For our weekend trip you took three water bottles but forgot the water. Now I have a cactus inside a bottle. For Christmas, you bought a screwdriver and invisible paint and painted the screwdriver with the invisible paint. It didn't turn invisible.
Then on New Year's Eve, you died; for 20 seconds, and I poured a bucket of dish water on your face, you bought me an extra apple as a thank you. I hate apples, so you ate both of them. You don't understand snow, or Pokémon, or Snow Pokémon but you could probably play the piano with your tongue, one might be tempted to say, you make a piano wet. 'Free Coffee' would be your presidential slogan if you ever ran, you hate paying for coffee.
There's a shoelace under your pillow, you like to think you can tie your dreams. You like going to the therapist because you like the sound of the squeaky toy attached to the armrest and the therapist says you're never going be normal. I'm still not saying that I like you but I find normal people boring as fuck.
You think roses look sad but you keep a fresh one in the little vase on your table anyway. You say sorrow is a better tenant than a visitor. The rent, if one were to ask, 'Poetry, of course', you'd say.
You laugh. When the fire alarm goes off in our rickety old building and the sprinklers come on, you laugh, for the first time in months. I let you take my hand in yours, as you lead me to the couch, spinning clumsily on my toes. The building is in flames, and we dance. For the first time in months, we don't notice how bleak the walls in our apartment are.
No touching. That's the rule we agreed upon. So when you reach for my waist, you falter with remembrance and grab the coffee mug from the counter behind me instead. I smell the smoke in your breath and the regret in mine. I gulp down the apology rising in my throat with a swig of scalding coffee. I don't know what burns more, the coffee or the apology.
You haven't come home in a week. You don't believe in vigils, but you come to this one. We walk side by side, candles clutched a little too tightly, as wordless as the flames in front of us. We drive home after. A part of you hates me, a part of you understands why I did what I did. You're fond of languages that aren't spoken anymore, languages that have been forgotten, so we don't speak when we reach home. We don't speak for months.
The Sunday after Christmas, two things happened. Your niece passed away; I say passed away because it sounds better than raped and murdered. And second, I got my invitation to the Fall Poetry Slam Contest. We held each other and cried. I promised you fiercely how I wouldn't let her voice just die in vain and you begged me to let it lie, to not to write about her. Not her. I went ahead and did it anyway. I should've known I'd lose two people that day.
It's how we meet. It's a perfect spring morning but you still live January in your head and I hum the tune to a song whose words I forget a little more every day. You were a cloud chaser, looking for someone you'd lost in the clouds and here I was, trying to get a song to stay.
Beginnings are beautiful. We forget the scars, the chains, the walls, the demons. We forget too much. We laugh too much. You mock my use of the subjunctive, you say Somerset would roll in his grave if he read what I wrote. And I chuckle at your poem. I say beginning poems with roses is such a cliché.