I can see you with defeated breaths as you type across the room from me. We are both drinking, fingers too slow to keep up with all the letters in our heads. We don’t bother to hide the purple under our eyes, not everyone is good at sleeping. People like us so soft against the world. We wonder how they turn it off, cut the feeling and forget.
We aren’t good at forgetting, the ones we love have stuck. Our ribs are filled with flowers, our hair long and messy. They say heartbreak is common, but we grew up on the romance. I know your eyes are tired as you stare at the screen throwing up everything you can feel.
Because it takes one to know one, and I can see your fingers tremble. You’ve been up for days, unable to shake the feelings. The only thing you can do is write about them, you couldn’t sleep if you tried. This diner is twenty-four hours and it’s 1:30 am on a Friday. You needed to get out, find something different. Be in a different space so your shuddered breathing became solid. Your eyes are open, slowly blinking wondering where the time goes. How can someone you encountered for such a short time mean more to you than anything?
I can see your focus as you look up past your screen. You pause a moment. Maybe that’s the thing with writers, our skeletons are forever on the surface. You create to expel them, but they are always floating in the edits. You want to touch the words, find the feelings and bury them. How could it have been so easy? We were good to them, we are good. We are kind and, once, we were trusting.
We have the minds that go on forever, finding poetry in every conversation. We trust to a fault, never learning how to be guarded. Because we know what its like to be erased, not everyone believes in stories. Not everyone keeps words said to them in a lockbox inside their heart. Essays are just essays, not bits of soul smashed on to paper.
Because we want to make the world more beautiful for the ones that we love, even if they forget about us. Even if they don’t say “I just want you to be happy too.” Maybe, that’s what keeps us up at night the most, the words they never said. We see the screen light up, just as we had moved past. Asking a question, just so you know they care less. A radar goes off, are you thinking about me too? It’s a game and we don’t want to play.
Before when we asked them how their day was, we really meant “was the world kind today?” Words mean something to us, communication in a world where we’ve lost touch. A world where we can see them having a fun life with people they claimed to dislike. We can see their dishonesty, but still want to believe the best in them. We are lovers of more in a world of selfish detachment.
My eyes are dilated like yours as we sit across the room and type. There is always another story to tell, another feeling to describe. People like us know how to break our own hearts, we are brave enough to tell the story. We plaster our broken with letters, letting the stitches form the story. Not everything is beautiful, but we want to find the beauty in the abandoned. We are people who are forgotten, but we never forget a soul. We help them find their dreams and find us nothing more than stepping-stone. Because for people like us, falling in love and telling our truths are all we know how to do.