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you don't bring me flowers

Who holds on to scraps of someone, honestly believing in moments that have a lifespan of flashbulbs - rationalizing that an instant is better than nothing, better than being gone forever? Me. With gaping, bleeding clawmarks. Am I to die, drama-inflicted, back of my hand pressed to my forehead, fainting in a flourish with all the weight of this hopeless romanticism? Maybe. Maybe I'm just a fucking fool for it all. I'm so caught up in singers and typewriters and a million brilliant moments that have shaped my very soul and dictate the course of my everything, with little-to-no logic, and even less common sense. Perhaps this is just my destiny. Everything is laid out end-to-end, without room for debate, clear as day or a bell or the eye chart at the opthamologist when they finally flip the right lenses into place and you can see every letter, all the way down to the smallest ones on the bottom line.

[tonight I'll burn the lyrics \ 'cause every chorus was your name]

I'm faking all these exits. I want to haul my entire world out onto the front lawn and set it on fire, shave my head and throw my hair into the flames, and watch it all get engulfed, finally free to be as crazy as my insides feel, with that look in my eyes that make perfect strangers ask me whether or not I'm alright. Covered head to toe in tattoos that don't even begin to scratch the surface of taking the pain away, the pain of knowing someone was never even there, something I never even had. I'm missing the idea of a non-existence, that I was blinded temporarily by from the light of those very flashbulbs where it all professed to live. And so I find myself here, missing the feigned contact from the layers of a relationship that never was.

It would seem I fell in love with a mirage. And these days, having gotten hold of it somehow, I wind up disappointed with the pieces I that I do end up finding in my warm, tired hands. Hands that are getting older. Hands that know that none of this is even remotely close to the truth. Hands that remind me you can't grab on to the instant of light from that flashbulb.

[I want to sit you down and talk \ I want to pull back the veils and find out what it is we've done wrong \ I want to turn this thing around \ I want to drink with you all night 'til we both fall down]

Were it November tomorrow, knowing everything I know now, I'd ask the same questions and push the same limits and do it all just like I did, all over again. I'd still hold it all up to the light and say no, I am not a string of Polaroids of ex-girlfriends and things you couldn't show up for and yes, I will pull the threads out of the seams of your reservations and throw them here in a pile on the table for us to sort out - I'd still believe her when she said she loved me. I'd still be crying two blocks from her house in my car that one night, thinking that the whole world could end right then and that it would have been easier... sobbing on the telephone, and how anything would have been easier than the reality of that moment.

I'd do it all again.

[and one day when she least expects, she'll know \ and the words you never spoke \ and the tune you never wrote \ won't write itself, or wait forevermore]

I'd still shine through. I'd still speak up. I would. I do. And some day I'll shake those half-dozen perfect moments that I could describe like they're right behind my eyes from fourteen seconds ago. The night where I stood with her publicly, defiantly, each others' girl in a crowd of straight strangers looking on in disbelief; and the way we made out and steamed up the car windows, and how I cringe like I'm bracing myself for a punch every time since that I've driven past. The moment when she played with the key hanging from my rearview mirror and cursed herself for being such a fool. The night she sat on my lap and asked what would happen if we graduated, and how I told her I was actively not doing all of those things she pined for, and how we started to divide right then. The night she sent me a text from two seats away. The look on her face when she found the note I hid in her notes as she prepared to speak on that panel. The morning she kissed me goodbye outside my car, and the smile she had, and the smile I took with me for the rest of the day.

And the first time she called instead of texting after we'd gone on a date, how different her voice sounded -- and how my heart leaps to my throat and my eyes sting with tears at the very thought of it, and how the hallway looked, and how I could barely wait to see her, and how it's all dissolved now. The night she sat drunk in her armchair and said she loved me, and months later when I learned it was just the booze talking. And the night in my car when she had this face, and how we both knew it couldn't ever be, and how I pushed her to say it out loud, and how neither of us said anything, really. That night, or ever.

[I'm still trying to forget]

Someday, I'll forget. Wiser people than me say it would behoove me to remember.

I'm not quite sure which one of us is right.

Victoria Uhl