I worry about Mandy. She worries that I will leave her. Leave our friendship. I worry about staying alive. When did that become a thing?
She got me up at two this morning so that I could get showered and begin the long drive from her house to be at work by seven. How many hours is the drive, again?
I think I actually got up at two-thirty, which stressed her. But I still showered, and I made it. She stood there, sleepily, arms folded, and told me to text her when I made it to work. I did.
She loves me, and she is in love with me. She worries about losing me when I “meet the one” … I don’t even know what that means anymore.
She doesn’t always hear me, but she does listen. I always laugh when she asks questions I just answered.
We make the most wonderful plans, but often don’t do anything. We sit together, like birds on a wire, balancing for hours on end.
She’s my best friend. When I am with her, I can be in the moment.
When she is near, I can turn around and face the scary thing behind me that makes my neck prickle. I can sweat, I can gasp, I can weep. She just watches me.
She says I still love my ex-girlfriend, but I am sure that I hate her. What she did to me was worse than anything that has ever been done to me. Mandy makes me realize that that kind of hurt is only possible when you are capable of loving unconditionally… so there’s hope for me. She sort-of-subtly reminds me that she wishes I felt that way about her. My heart is empty, and I reply with nothing. I’m null. She doesn’t want my platitudes anyway… “It’s not you, it’s me” …an inanity.
In a room full of people, these days we often find each other and stand closely together. Penguins that mumble rather than honk.
She vapes. I put my hands in my pockets, put my shoulder to hers, and look at our shoes. The most comfortable couple in the room, yet we are just simply complicated friends.
We never get enough sleep. We both have dark circles under our eyes. Something keeps us both unsettled. We are both running from something. Even when sitting on the couch, we are running. Binge watching “Lost”
She sees me with soft honey-colored eyes. She’s my height but says she’s five-seven. The hospital says I am five-eight. I am reminded every time they see me. They always want to see me.
I call her by her middle name: Starr. You can call her Amanda.
I don’t know what else to say. That happens a lot these days. Again, and again. My chest is uncomfortable again, and I am counting the days until I see Mandy again.