We are near the historic and refurbished train station, sitting at a picnic table made of metal laced together in a diamond pattern with the seats and surface attached via awkwardly bent and connected legs. The sun is bright and I am wearing sun glasses sometimes pushed up on my head. The ground is too much concrete and the air feels like a thing passed artificially through a prism. Nothing about the scene is cozy.
I recognize that my body is distinct from the cottony clawing bubble of your admiration, which has engulfed me like a thick woolly cloud for several years now. I see myself existing free of it even as it hovers like a black, livery, lung of a placenta in the air between us. Slick and crumbling, a playdough ball of pickled meat. I am elated with fear to be outside of it.
You are proceeding with what you are good at. From the ball of matting you wield deftly a conversation, woven, net of words that snares me only superficially. I can see the oily elixir as a separate entity and the embrace extends just far enough to run it’s hands over me. It cannot make purchase or establish its grip.
I am free of it and I watch you staggering, drunk in a pool of intoxicant desperation, grasping at me with all the reasons she is not my answer. Correct as you are it won’t matter. You no longer have the power to snatch my hands for holding. You need me to reach for you.
And in that moment I know. From then on my knowledge of it never falters. If my demeanor seemed at times to waver, it was mere slippage in the facade of time. I will never again hold out my hand in your direction.
We were sweating, then, and the bench etched its diamond pattern in the fat on the back of my thighs. The flesh oozes through the holes no matter how skinny you are. The mood was too neutral to be cold. Just hard and plastic and over.