There’s something inside you, it’s hard to explain


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In bed all day, and dreaming of nothing. Apparently I have stopped grinding my teeth. I’ve been waking up with slices of sunset across my face, my recollection of the last week growing dimmer and dimmer. The hours have bled into each other, the way they do after a long, long party that you can’t perfectly recall. Moments of our time together keep coming back to me in flashes - as if it were not really my life, but images from a film I had seen or a book I had imagined into existence. I am filled with fear that I will remember the wrong things. I can feel my short-term memory being converted into long-term, and I know I have no control over what I hold on to. I remember there were cocktails in the sun. His hand stroking mine at dawn as I lent back against him, feeling the heat from his chest. Drinking white wine that first night in Soho, and getting drunk too quickly because I hadn’t eaten anything all day. The little corner table where we sat and joked about harmless, day-to-day things - the way you do when there is something tender, and painful, and almost forgotten, hanging between you that no one wants to disturb. I remember skipping as we went to my friend’s house, making him laugh. Thinking how miraculous it was that he should be meeting them, when it still seems so miraculous that I even know them in the first place. And then the relief that comes when different parts of your life intertwine, and nothing terrible happens, no one catches you out. Smoking together as we lay on the floor, gazing drunkenly at artificial starlight, thinking how perfect is this, and this, and this, and how much easier than I thought it would be, even though there is a certain kind of disappointment in that too. Joking over our lunch, like children. Letting him feed me.  Forcing him to dance. Pretending to be asleep in the night, when really I was thinking how, how can this be?

It is so strange when nearly four years worth of speculation, fantasy and paranoia is replaced by a real human being who can see all the expressions that play across your face when you have a conversation, and ask you what they mean. And then insist when you refuse to explain. I remember he made a grab for my camera, for the photos that I had taken of our weekend, and I was genuinely terrified. I begged him to give it back in a way he knew he could not ignore. I can only wish I felt that safe with him.

And yet I have promised to see him again. I promised in a moment of tenderness, when anything else would have been ridiculous. He, in turn, promised never to look at what I write here. I think, out of the two of us, he is far more likely to keep his word.

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