personal blog: simon

this is going to be a long one. but pain is never easy; although, I do feel better when I’m broken.

by the time I come to, Kevin’s cramped a towel under my head.

“you passed out.” his dejected expression tears me to pieces and I look at his bloodied palms. “your nose.” he adds.

my half-dressed body, heavy, my mouth, neck, and chest stained red, but I manage to get my feet under me and lift myself up, although wobbling from wall to wall. Kevin following, trying to hold me up but with every of his attempt, I push his hand abrasively.

not the first time I have passed out after my body goes numb and I cannot feel any longer. darkness and a blackhole in time. it’s all normal.

Kevin passes me a shirt and moves to a safe distance not to hover. seems that he might have enough of my assault.

“how you’re feeling?” his voice still worried.

“I’ll be fine.” I mutter and in the backdrop, my father’s voice, ‘stay still. keep your head elevated.’ he used to say for every blood splatter from my nose. ‘you have to be strong.’ as if that was ill fated, my strength. maybe because I got plenty of nose bleeds as a child. as I have to be strong now, be firm in my replies.

my fingers feel numb.

“I’m fine.” a reassurance to keep Kevin at his post. don’t want him near. don’t want him here. the preoccupation with my hands, all my focus on them, and I float. for a moment I detach again. an image of Jacob’s scars, his skin, stuck in memory and soothing. the day Jacob punctured his palm, chaos followed. he didn’t even feel the pain. we all felt it, the heaviness of Jacob’s act. I didn’t want to leave his side at the hospital. he was emotionless and melting like a statue of ice. like I am emotionless and melting now. “I think you should go.” I lift my vacant eyes to Kevin.

“I think you hit your head a bit too hard. I’m not leaving you in this state.” the argument and the ‘are you crazy’ expression on Kevin’s face.

“I want you to go.” I mean it’s only fair.

“Simon.” Kevin scoffs, as if my statement is too bizarre to comprehend.

we exchange the battle looks, the ones before a fight.

“are we going to have an argument? you just fainted. I’m concerned about you. are you all right?”

all legitimate points but I’m in a combat mode, “are you?” I need this fight to finalize this romantic transaction. a transaction that was allotted to the wrong person, and it was out of the force of expectancy, not by natural preference.

Kevin shakes his head what appears to be disbelief, “because you haven’t allowed me to touch you in three months… and you haven’t touched me in three months… isn’t this what we do? you lock up. ask for space… and then we dance the same dance all over again.”

“this time it’s a marathon.” my harsh rebuttal and not even a clever one.

“are you going to talk to me?” a look of strength and weakness. “are you going to open up?” his eyes taking every ounce of my face. “all these passcodes, security measures. who texted you this morning? where did you go running? you don’t run. what am I supposed to think? you want to play this accusation game. I’m not the one hiding.”

there. the core of the problem.

“I’ve put up with your crap for two years. you would think… but we’re not closer than the day we met… if anything we’re further apart… and you’ve built that wedge.” his voice failing and he cuts himself off, composing his feelings.

“you didn’t have to stay.” a pathetic excuse of my argument, but I have no valid counter attack. everything Kevin has brought up is true. the enormous allotments of insecurities, jealousy, mistrust, flare-ups. I should applaud myself for I have caused it all.

“that’s your copout?”

“I never begged you to stay in this charade, allowance of my emotional infliction of injuries? do you enjoy punishment?” that’s a low blow but that’s my cunning way. I know how to get under Kevin’s skin. I am despicable. I know it and I hate myself for it but that’s the only way to a hollow freedom. I just want the pain to stop. I just want for the tree trunk to be uprooted from my chest. the weight to lift.

“charade?” he flings his arms to the air, “I, fucking, love you. when have you become so cruel?”

“good boy.” my father lifted his arms and tightened his hands to fists. I raised my hands and made my fists.

the left hook, the right, that is what it took to be a man for my father. be a tough boy, be strong, stand-up to a fight, don’t run from it, and most importantly, don’t cry. here. my fists became words, words as swords. the left hook, the right. how I am taking Kevin down. my father would be proud.

“if it’s not cunning stabs then you turn to ice. as much I reckoned. always on your terms.” that’s Kevin battle.

“aren’t you tired?” I ask sensibly, or at least I think it’s sensible.

“not of you.” that sounds almost melodic. how can Kevin transform his anger into this one beautiful and velvet reply. he still hasn’t given up.

“of how things have been?” a finishing touch.

“because we argue.” his sweet tone, ending with an unthreatening smile. “you do this, anticipating the worst. can we not be on the same page for once?”

“exactly.” exactly!

like wild fire, we turned every part of us to dust. I should have ended it sooner, instead I reciprocated Kevin’s ‘I love you’, two months into our relationship. what a fool I was, only to avoid an argument.

my words have shrunken him, and he moves another step away. his hands collapsed to the sides. I feel as equally diminutive.

“why don’t you say it?” Kevin says it so collectedly that I am quite impressed. “just say it, Simon,” as if pleading for the torment to end.

this is my chance to SCREAM. this is it.

“I want to break up.” words I have heard before. words so many others have uttered to me. it pains me to say them. I had no practice.

“stand up straight.” my father’s firm hand on my back, like it was an honor to be cruel and obedient.

that is what it is to be a man. the second lesson. be obedient. that was my father’s way. Kevin and I have played this routine many of times before with a conclusive fuck that felt laboured. our trifle of a fight would pass and within days everything would go back to normal. this time. this time it must be absolute like obedience: strict and decisive. not to forget, have a follow-through.

“okay.” his voice deflated but kind and he bestows his last evidence of affection, a warm prolonged kiss on my cheek and without even gathering his things, leaves. the sound of the closing door leaves me in a panic again. it always gets so quiet after the storm yet so messy and I am left with my own debilitating state.

‘men don’t cry.’ my father’s wisdom echoing in the background. he expected all his boys to be tough. he expected me to be tough and I dare not to cry. I dared it for so long that now it’s simply numbness. all feeling vanishing into nothing. my father used to allow me to whisper cursed words into his palm or whisper my secrets, so he could keep them for me. keep them as secrets and he kept lots of things in confidence. he kept lots of things as his victories and trophies as well.

my trophies however became trophies of broken hearts… and Kevin isn’t bad. maybe overtly flirtatious, spontaneous, social, a perfect guy, a charmer, and a fool to love me, as I am a buffoon for allowing him to love me.

I lock the door as I lock my heart and reach for my phone. the hallway floor wiped clean and I soak the bloodied towel in the tub. I open my sister’s text. “… fucking…” still yelling at me.

“I’m here, alive.” I reply.

“after tons of ups and downs we can confidently say we feel more at home when things aren’t going well. being down gives a perspective, a hunger and an appreciation that can’t be found anywhere else.” — honors

not sure if that’s true for me, although, I do feel at home with misery.

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© simon whittle — second act