Copyright is held by the author.
We were never good at our romance. In our small little apartment in the wet streets of New Orleans, we were never good at anything. Our apartment was always in disarray, from our cracked walls and dirty floors that hadn’t been cleaned since we had delivered ourselves to this town.
We had a year of bliss, a year where we smiled, then everything turned and became evil. I drank too much. You drank too much. We fought in our confusion to the points the neighbours would wake up and yell from their windows for us to shut up. It’s a badge of dishonour that we both wear now that we were louder than New Orleans. And yet, there were chunks of our hearts that still loved each other and these parts convinced us that all our wrongdoings were forgivable, despite the emotions of hatred that had been whipped into a frenzied flaming tornado. This tornado was our norm and helped us ignore our bits of love. It would keep us warm at night. We would bring it out and rage against each other and everything else in the world. We hated each other and loved each other and hated the world for our furious romance.
But I will never forget the day you sat in our sunroom, staring onto the street below. You were wearing my red robe after just getting out of the shower. Your long black hair was wet and lay across the red. Smoke curled from the long cigarette in your hand as your brown eyes absorbed everything on the sidewalks and corners. You inhaled, you exhaled, and I was reminded you were divine. I still had all my issues in that moment. I had stayed out too late the night before and I was still angry with you telling me what to do. You were still angry with all my impulses for the quick joys only found at the bottom of a bottle. But, in this moment, you were a goddess. Then you turned and saw me standing there, staring at you.
“What the fuck is your problem?” you said. “I’ve crisscrossed the country and I have been a thousand ways. I have lived a thousand lives and done a thousand things and been a thousand people. I have seen it and I touched it. Now I am stuck in this swamp with a man who can barely even talk and just gives me stares, glares, disappearances, and annoyance.”
You were amazing, for you really had done all the things you had said you did. I knew it then and I had known it always, so your words didn’t hurt me. You were amazing compared to me who was just lucky to be in your presence, and I took it so much for granted. That night, we had sex and you howled at the dark sky and I howled too for we were just beasts trapped by our four walls and our pain. Our pain covered our love that was still there and stunted it from growing here, there, and everywhere. The one thing we did right was fuck. We fucked well into the morning and we fucked good. In these moments of animalistic behaviour, of a lack of thought and a lack of feeling . . . In these moments where all our hurt wasn’t bogging our brains down and we could be our best in-the-second selves, our love was angelic. The bits and chunks of love that floated somewhere in our hearts combined and everything became clear that all that was needed was the other.
That night I howled and screamed my I love yous for the world to hear and you screamed and howled yours in response and agreement and we were so in love. We kept the windows of our apartment open so all the drunks and hookers and pimps and gangbangers and crackheads and junkies could hear us say how much we loved each other and they could all appreciate it and be jealous they didn’t have it.
As the sun broke, we lay there in our sweat and I said I really did love you and you said you loved me to the moon and back. You said you loved me with every once and every star and you were happy to be here with me. You stared at me and said with intense earnestness that you did love me. You said it with sadness too.
I fell asleep and never saw you again.