Letting Life Lead
Their hold on me had long since loosened. Your pretty smile and the way your flirt is always on, I mean. Sure, I still flush and butterflies quiver in my belly when you glance at me. I can’t help it, beautiful man with too many gifts.
You’re grinning and trying to make me laugh. I let you. You plait my hair and kiss me like it’s the first time. I’m not a fool, though. I know what shadows behind your careful attentions as you build this moment with playful seduction.
You’re going to break up with me. Your eyes give you away.
Sheets and blankets are rumpled and my skin is still damp with sweat and the smell of us. You’ve fallen into the dead coma of the exhausted. You ran yourself ragged. It was a long separation. I don’t mind waiting. It’s the job. Everything you wanted is coming together in a hurricane of possibilities. I’m happy for you. I don’t think you believe me. The guilt you place on yourself is more than you can bear. We’ve talked about this before. I know the signs.
Don’t worry. I’ll make this easy for you.
I pick up my clothes strewn on the floor and sit on your suitcases to put on my mismatched socks. We accept my terrible unfanciness. I save effort for the right occasions.
“You look superbly uncomfortable,” you’d say. That meant I was stunning in my way.
I put your dogged lyric book on your guitar case with the new one I bought. I taped the recipe and instructions for the dumplings you like so much. You’ll make a mess of it when you try. You can’t use that as an excuse to call. I’ll hang up. Be more sincere than that.
Your snoring revs like a V8 but won’t wake you up. After three years, I still don’t know how that’s possible. You get insomnia on the road. With me you sleep like stone. You can be yourself here — even be a dick. Do I sound angry? I’m not. It’s truth. Picking a little, insignificant fight is how you wheedle through my stoicism until I swear and call you something colorful. We don’t do perfect.
A tuck a note into your shoes. It is titled A Mixtape for a Heartbreak. You’ll find the musicality lacking, but you’ll appreciate the effort since I can only play four chords. It’s about our time together and how you think you’ve been steering the train while I’ve clung helpless to the rear. I end it with a fuck you — because, I’m at the front, wind in my face, leaning into the ride even when I hurt. You’re the one back there trying to disembark like the coward you’ve always been.
I can read all the parts of you.
So, I call stop because my time is valuable.
I leave my key and shut the door.
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writing, traveling, and tap dancing around town.
Leave your fear of the dark at the door, suspend your disbelief and come on in...
Writer and procrastinator
Warden of Words // Shaper of Stories
Bewitching Journey of Words to Meaning
This is the story of building a cottage , the people and the place. Its a reminder of hope and love.
Just your average PhD student using the internet to enhance their CV
Pen to paper
This was such a good love letter for a breakup. It held the right notes of both realism and passion, and you did such a good job of drawing the reader in and giving us something to invest in.
So many great details that develop these two characters. I especially liked the V8 description of the snoring. The story is also really well paced: having “You’re going to break up with me.” on a separate line and just stated so simply really stood out to me after all the description in the previous paragraphs, and that’s where I slowed down and got more invested in finding out what was going on with these two. I really hate breakup stories (cuz I want people to stay together!), but you wove this one well.
I’m not sure how you made me root for a breakup but you did. This piece hit its stride at “you’re going to break up with me”. It felt visceral and real and sort of dreamy-angsty all at the same time.
As always your characters are so vivid. You made me wonder if the narrator is reliable or not, whether she is accurately interpreting the situation, in which case everything she does is justified, or whether she sees disaster where there is none.