Unable to dream

After you left, I stood by our framed photo for a long time. Then I threw it in the trash bin. Good riddance echoed between the walls as I closed the front door and went out for a walk. The clouds were low and my house by the pond, looked like a strange place with golden windows and navy boxes of space. I kept walking through the dirt road that was covered with snow over the shrunk wildflowers and by the crusty willow. The breeze settled in my nostrils, freezing my memories black and white. Suddenly I remembered our feverish lovemaking not too long ago on the brand new wooden floors – slipping over the polished surface, cursing our bodies, bursting inside each other.

I collected the mail, ignored the evening colors as I opened the front door. The fireplace was lit but it felt cold. As if my body heat had left with you. I placed the mail on the kitchen counter, walked to the fridge and took out the leftovers from the Chinese place. It had the fork you used. With every bite, I resisted the urge to call. The clouds came in lower with the wind howling your name against the windows. So I went into every room, collected your things and stuffed them in black trash bags, even the sticky-notes inside every pocket of my loafers: a shopping list, a heart, a signature. When I drained your half-filled coffee mug, a sense of lukewarm despair made me shiver.

An envelope stood out in stack, a thick, green paper perfumed and embossed with a lily. It was for you. I traced your name, the graceful bellies of alphabets, the sound of you. I wanted to say it out loud but it came out as a whisper like loneliness had grabbed me by the throat. A lock of hair fell over my eyes.

I wanted you. Old you, new you, just you. Did you remember what was it like to make love so many times in a day and later, stand by the window and watch the traffic while sharing a cigarette like it was our destiny? How you used to reach inside my gown under the table, one hand stroking my thigh, the other around a glass of wine, smiling. 

What was it like? As if there was desire in the world and I did not have it. I tried to remember and stayed up on the couch we got at a bargain store. Until it was pitch dark. Until I could not keep my eyes open any more. Until my memories were tired of rewinding.

The house stood still, burying my heartaches in water while I slept like a rock, unable to dream.

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Unable to dream

  1. Aching with emotion. I love these: “freezing my memories black and white” and “the graceful bellies of alphabets, the sound of you.”

  2. My favorite line: “When I drained your half-filled coffee mug, a sense of lukewarm despair made me shiver.” Strong portrayal of the loneliness one feels after a break up.

  3. I agree, the emotion in this is palpable from the first sentence. I liked “How you used to reach inside my gown under the table, one hand stroking my thigh, the other around a glass of wine, smiling.” The italicized paragraph threw me a little. At first I thought it was a pov change but that doesn’t seem to be it. I’m sure there’s a reason, but I’m not clear what it was.

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