personal blog: simon

I move through my office lifeless. I have nothing to give. a zombie starved and tired and I know everything is bound to go to shit.

the printer makes its moaning sounds, running off the job for production. another order of five hundred leaflets.

swimming in my head, I know it wasn’t a dream or an obsessive fabrication. for the fact, I know that seeing Bryan did indeed happen. ‘to see you.’ ‘to call you.’ all shambles in my head.

his lips, a lasting effect, and I brush my lips as if recoiling the moment and then submerging into nothingness. it’s foolish to feel like a teenager but even that I cannot conjure into existence. being void has overtaken my every limb.

the whole figment fades as the sound of a doorbell bellows in a distance and I am relieved to hear anything other than the nuisance of my own thoughts.

“I saw the light.” Kevin peers through the crack. his soft voice almost enchanting yet frugal in its buoyancy… somber.

my heart sinks debating whether I should let him in. will he be my rescue or chaos?

I part the door slightly. a simple invitation and Kevin enters collectively. “you didn’t call. you usually call. I was worried.”

“I was out.” I was having an affair. such enticing words to spew but ‘don’t start a fight. don’t start a fight’ mantra echoes in my head.

placing a paper take-away bag to his side, “is that all?” Kevin’s words break from what it appears withheld tears. the formidable plot of our breakup; tough on both of us; and he staggers to his boxes.

“yeah.” cold and bitter but I cannot withstand my own vexed hiss and lower my guard. too brief of an exchange, like there is so little between us left.

but Kevin lets the seconds lengthen, staying infinite, scattering his fingers and digs them into the first box, examining the items inside. the red socks, a goof of a Christmas present, Kevin wore the Christmas morning or when his feet got too cold because of the kitchen porcelain. the whacky slippers that came with the socks. the ‘Rock is Dead’ t-shirt that I borrowed on occasions. his books, which drove me crazy when they laid scattered around the apartment.

he smiles that sad smile. how simply his life I summed in these boxes, choosing what is to be discarded and kept. what belongs. who belongs.

the knitted bandage over a bleeding emotional scar. it’s hard to break up without breaking apart. harder to occupy space in someone’s heart and head. hardest, to crack someone open and for him to allow you in, and on that cue, Kevin turns to me. “do you even love me? or you just say words because they sound nice… they sound right?”

damn. he gets right into the point.

a professing. yet it took no effort to converse with Bryan, as it is with much exhaustion to answer Kevin. maybe I do love Kevin in a weird way and at the same time I loathe him… but the hate it’s not a true hate… it’s that feeling of knowing that something isn’t right and it gnaws at me until I expel the poison on someone who loves me. I’m sick.

but that’s not the most important question now. what’s relevant is how much pain do I want to inflict in order to stay sober through this pain, through this breakup, and do the right thing? Kevin deserves better.

“I did.” my conclusion that does not sound any better.

“and then poof,” Kevin lifts his fingers to imitate magic, “you don’t?”

“I’m not good for you.” a little sterner to get the message across. first time ever divulging to use that excuse; although, it’s true. but then again, it’s a lament of an excuse. it’s not you, it’s me. I have heard it plenty of times.

“they’re not good for you.” my father didn’t approve of my friends, the boys from the street: the hustlers, the dealers, and he would sit me down and throw his fingers with petition. I was twelve and despised my father… and I didn’t care, smuggling in trash: stolen skateboards, clothing with profane prints; hair dye, weed that I didn’t use, empty bottles of liquor… everything my father considered repulsive, including my fights with mom and Gemma… and he would rarely hit me for my misdemeanors, and when he did, I would be off the hook.

love is the same. if the men didn’t love, then I was off the hook loving them in return. the age gap between Kevin and me was a red flag, but Kevin persisted, sticking around through every emotional beating, argument after argument… and he’s still here, fighting for us. his warm blood circulating to the tip of his fingers, mildly grazing my palms, and as if zapped with voltage, withdraws immediately.

“you say that… ‘not good for me’… doesn’t make me stop caring.” always concerned and worrisome.

the smack of my lips, the sour taste, an indication of hesitation, but I sway. Kevin’s presence turns to familiar warmth. Kevin’s eyes always unfaltering and unthreatening. his touch ever so light and precious and he nozzles in between my desk and the wall harnessing many memories and that is where his stare becomes engraved. the walls filled with framed posters and my designs, building time, maybe to gain courage, as my thoughts pace. I collapse onto my work stool on the other side of my desk. my desk, the barrier between us.

it’s hard to forget two years of union, cohabitation, the laughter in the early mornings, the dinner and movie dates, the…

and Kevin swoops in a flash to my side, leaning against the desk. “I don’t like when you isolate yourself… drowning yourself with work… I know you… and remember last time… you didn’t come out of this building for weeks… barely spoke to your customers… you lost almost twenty pounds… looked so unhealthy… I don’t even know if you’re eating,” and removes a container from the take-away bag, following with another. “I brought you food… so, yeah. I’m worried.”

everything he has listed, it’s all punishment. refusing to eat. refusing to socialize. refusing to be functioning human… because I’m constantly on this trajectory to act, to exist but never be. how can I be? I don’t even know who I am… who I’m supposed to be… what I am supposed to feel. it’s easier to imitate, but not really.

and truthfully, I haven’t eaten an actual meal since yesterday morning. maybe it’s for the best. at least I have nothing of consumption to vomit due to my agitation.

but I know what this is; a bribe to sway my decision. it worked plenty of times in the past, but I don’t know if I can eat with bugs in my stomach. no butterflies because they are too beautiful for my circumstance.

I hastily leave the chair. the seat loops twice before resting. two plates and two forks. I’m too spent to argue. again pretending.

Kevin’s expression immediately brightens, opening the containers. the aroma fills the space; crispy chicken fillet, mashed potatoes, and assortment of salads. my favourite, amused by how well Kevin knows my weak spots and how to cradle my emotional states.

“thank you.” only words I’m able to agree on, gathering two glasses and a bottle of fizzed water.

silence and how it can simply determine the distinctive nature of people. my gut turning and I cannot but open my mouth to shut my mind. “this is delicious.” the breakup making our conversation stale and I’m unsatisfied, uneasy. thoughts still clobber my insides. muttering Bryan’s and Kevin’s name, as if the two men were the same. or maybe it’s the guilt of breaking Kevin’s heart. or maybe it’s guilt for allowing Bryan to kiss me.

the fantasy always savours better than reality. a conclusion that is not resting well with me at the moment in Kevin’s presence.

the transparency of the front store windows, slightly foggy, as the light mist dampens the glass. the inkling of an illusion, knowing that I cannot do this with Kevin. see him. be with him. yet unable to draw from him… from his kindness.

“you still do that.” Kevin’s words draw me back. “diving into space… searching.”

a little embarrassed that I have done it again. my obnoxious compulsion to drift into another reality.

and Kevin now on my side of the desk, brewing to check off another item of his list. our usual dance. the encompassing moment to bestow another touch. another sensation. lingering on pulling my lower lip. translating every throbbing moment in the intensity of the collision of our lips. then hanging onto his breath before letting me detain him and protest, but I am confined.

“do it Simon! do it!” the cheering crowd of boys as my fist flew to the boy’s shoulder. an initiation to the gang.

and Kevin’s touch, a catalyst to my past. affixed. the silhouette I had to endure; although, hating every moment fighting the boy. the loss of control because someone else contained it, because I wanted them to like me, to appease them, to please them.

like a machine with faulty coding, I comply.

and taking that control was like a gesture everyone had a privy to without trade off, without consent, without my consent. a prefix to the dissolution of my innocence and my inability to get a hold of present situation. get hold of Kevin’s unwelcomed intentions.

Kevin’s hands pinned to my hips. like nails spiking through my skin. “stop.” a whisper. “stop.” a sound. “stop!” a shout and I push Kevin off.

the hardship and confusion in Kevin’s stare. the hardship and fear in mine.

“you should go.” I tear through my teeth. reluctant to say more. fearing that I might crumble in front of him. “you should go.”

“Simon.” the call of my name, cherished.

“please… go.” I’m begging. please. I’m begging.

but for once Kevin understands, gathers his boxes and moves to the door. “I’m sorry.” the pain in his tone. “I’m glad you ate.” no hidden messages. no temptation, deluding provocation, or cunningness, but plain comfort. it would be easy to fall for, to give into the primal urges, to fall under Kevin’s kind spell, but without argument and fuss, Kevin vanishes from the door.

the heaviness as if my weight all of sudden tripled. as if my burden all of sudden tripled.

the boy’s bloody nose and bruised arm, an evidence of my actions and I felt dreadful for it, but I was one of the boys, ‘hoodlums’, as my father called them.

that’s what’s left of me. a hoodlum.

but why…

but why do these men keep on insisting kissing me when I don’t want a mere glimmer of touch.

I feel like this day isn’t going to end and I want it to end.

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© simon whittle — second act