Let's Talk About Spaceships

Anything but you and me, OK? 

Local Natives | Who Knows Who Cares | A Take Away Show

Everything is going to be OK eventually. 

Summer Fiction | Chandeliers

You were mine, under the chandeliers. 

OCD

And it’s not quite OCD, but the thought of being without you for the rest of my life seems to take the air out of my lungs and you’ve become an impossibility attached to a ritual, just like you said.

I’m sorry, it’s just that I’m still learning how to forget everything about you. 

I think I started smoking when you left just so I’d have something easier to quit. 

April 10th
I like your squint as you look through a camera just before you hit the trigger, the way your eyebrows draw critically over your eyes as you stress over timing and meticulously adjust your angles. 

I like it when you take a million more shots until you realize you captured the perfect image instinctually the first time. 

I like that you over-think just about everything you do.  

But what I like most is that you always deliberately take off your glasses to kiss me, so that you never frame my face boxed in by any correction.

One year ago

The first time I ever passed out in my life was exactly a year ago. I was so sick and dehydrated that I couldn’t even stand up straight in the shower. I blacked out so quickly that you didn’t have a chance to catch me. 

I woke up on the floor, in your arms and throwing up, to the sound of your normally deep voice high pitched and frantic, begging me to snap out of it. 

Apart from bruising both my knees black, the fall itself didn’t hurt me. 

The diagnosis that we’d be apart for the next six to eight months while I recovered broke something permanently. 

Now I pass out fairly regularly. 

Like the time I drank myself out of my clothes and into a shower with a stranger after I saw you for the first time since you left me. 

I can’t excuse the other times, but forgive me for condoning this one 

I was just hoping that with the burn of every shot I remembered swallowing, a month of missing you would be incinerated from my memory, so that when I woke up, you’d be holding me again. 

Stars

When I went up to college 500 miles away, I brought a glow in the dark star for every mile that separated me from home.

 I’m sure my roommates thought I’m afraid of the dark: when I tried fitting them all up on the plywood that supported the bunk above me, it was so bright I couldn’t sleep.

 I’m not afraid of the dark.

 I’m afraid of getting lost, of not being able to find my way home. So I’ve always had glow in the dark stars in my room. They’re the first thing I see in the morning and the reassurance I need to go to sleep.

 When you asked what I was doing the day after I moved into my dorm and I told you that I was putting up 500 glow in the dark stars, you acted like that was the most normal thing in the world. I asked if you wanted a few, and you said yes.

I spent my second night away from home standing on your bed in almost complete silence, hanging my stars for you in a constellation on your ceiling.

 Not too long after that, I fell in love with you.

 It was so easy; I fell for you like the stars in your room fell when the adhesive wore out.

 And I knew you fell too when I noticed you slip one of the stars into the pocket of your favorite jacket. I never saw you take it out, and I’d occasionally see the outline of it against the thin material.

 God damn it, you were beautiful.

 We spent hours reading together, my feet in your socks, your head in my lap, my hands tangled in your hair.

You drew the maps in my head of this city with memories. Outlined the streets in conversations and cups of coffee, shaded the squares with the texture of your hand in mine. You once told me in a love letter that I’d never be alone, no matter what.

 And sometimes, you’d stretch your arms as wide as you could. I love you this much; you’d say dramatically, your eyes and smile comically wide and eyebrows lifted. I used to admire the span of your lanky arms, laughing with you over the idea that you could quantify love in a distance.

 I stopped laughing when I had to leave college in the spring, I got terribly sick, but we told each other it was OK, that our love was bigger than the miles that separated us.

But some time between spring and fall, you cut off all of your hair and lost the ability to look me in the eyes.

I still have love notes, photos and a few spare socks of yours. I loved you more than the span my fingertips can stretch, more than the miles, just like I promised.

I don’t know what to do with all this space, because all that’s left of your love for me fits in my two small hands. 

I still have problems sleeping sometimes. I get lost in this city without your ghost. 

 I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d really appreciate it if you took that last star out of your pocket, because you’re carrying around a piece of my sky and no matter how many stars I put up, I haven’t been home in six months.