maybe if we were older

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I really wish I could do this. In the first month we shared a dream, even.

But I’m fucking up already, and I can tell the road we’re on by the bumps.

I’ve been over these bumps before.

And I don’t like this road.

I know where it goes and it’s not a good place to be.

But the worst part is how long it takes for me to get back home from there.

I turn in my seat and try to gauge the distance.

If I squint, I can still see where I started.

It’s faint, but I could make it.

The farther we go, the less of a possibility that becomes. The more wrong turns I’m likely to take. The more sleeping-in-ditches I’ll have to endure.

I glance at him, sitting next to me.

“We’re fine,” he tells me.

I smile, nod.

It’s a nice little lie.

I’m not fine.

I’ve never been fine.

I’m not even sure how that word relates to me except as to my hair, which gets all unkempt in back when I spend the day in bed.

“Just-been-fucked hair,” another one once called it, flattering me.

That was a long time ago.

I touch the back of my head lovingly, remembering.

“Leave it like that,” he had said. And positioned me on an old wooden chair in the sun to photograph the errant strands.

Bleached, sepia-toned prints of another life.

One day I’ll grow old, smooth out my long hair with a bristle brush, and take all of my memories on a picnic. String them up a kite and let them go.

Meanwhile, the beautiful man of today slips his hand beneath my flyaway tresses, slowly runs warm fingertips down the nape of my neck.

A simple gesture, perhaps.

For anyone else.

For me, it’s ecstatic.

Made so by its all being so fucking finite, perhaps.

I’ve lost faith, know I should jump before the next turn.

I take another anxious look back.

What if I went just a brief ways farther?

Don’t a thousand journals line my shelves, like little breadcrumbs meant to increase my chances of survival?

~

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