I’ve climbed a lot of different mountains for a lot of different reasons. This morning, I was trying to get closer to heaven. When did it get so hard to talk to the person I told everything?
Today, there was a fog thick as guilt. There were grey (with an “a”) skies. There was quiet. I couldn’t see five feet in front of my face. This year has been a lesson in learning what I do and don’t know, what I can and can’t control, what’s the right way to hold. This year was a lesson on how to live in fog.
Last August, I asked how the sky could be so blue.
Last July, all Hunter and I listened to was Frank Ocean. When the album didn’t drop, we still thought we had time to wait, time to waste. A week ago, all I listened to was Frank Ocean. When the album didn’t drop, I realized that believing you have time left is something you grow out of, like velcro, like the tooth fairy, like trusting Frank Ocean.
Last June, Hunter asked Desi if she would be sad if he died. We were all cuddled up in bed together. She thought a bit before she answered.
“No, because Grandma is gone too.”
Never before had I swallowed such a sword. When I’m sad enough to erupt, I remember that it’s Hunter’s grandmother’s turn to spend summer mornings all curled up under the covers with him.
Last May, Hunter and I traveled to Atlanta. We rode a ferris wheel that left us suspended at the top for so long that he finally said, “I guess we’ll just stay in the sky forever.”
Last April, Hunter and I sold concert tickets to pay bills. We played a lot of pool. We made plans for the fall. We had plans to make more plans. Our plants were growing through our pant-pocket seams. April showers washed away a lot of what we thought it meant to be here.
Last March, Hunter and I got rear-ended twice in one week. Once on my birthday and once on our way to the rollerskating rink. He made me a tower of chocolate cupcakes.
Last February, falling in love felt like getting fat, storing up warmth for the winter, holding hands in caves. Falling in love felt like blowing up a hot air balloon. We didn’t know where it was going. We didn’t know where it was going. Falling in love felt like French fries for dinner, tipping 25%. Falling in love felt like gaining weight– “I love you” is the heaviest thing I’ve ever said. I never felt as full as I did with you in my head. Falling in love felt like chocolate mousse on top of his car, sharing a spoon we found in the street. Hepatitis could only be real if heaven was real too. Because falling in love felt like takeout, felt like feeding you sugar out of a saucepan, felt like a clogged artery. Falling in love felt like four weeks without fasting, tasting grapefruit for the first time, forcing a tube down my throat that kept me alive. Falling in love felt like I never wanted to be forty before. Like kissing a blueberry bush. Like I don’t want to forget.
I don’t want to forget
I don’t want to forget
I don’t want to forget
Falling in love felt like getting fat.
Last January, we stayed warm. Hunter would button me inside his grey wool coat.
Last December, Hunter told me he had his happiest birthday he could remember. My first time driving on the highway he yelled, “that exit! that one right there!” I threaded the needle through four lanes of traffic. I had to steer the rest of the way with one hand because he couldn’t stop giving me high fives . We got a secret fish. We spent New Year’s Eve sprawled in the basement. We were meteorologists. We tried to forecast a full year. We were optimists.
I loved his all black high top converse and his maroon and blue coat over his navy hoodie. I loved the way he looked that fall. I loved his hair I loved his eyes I loved his hands and I loved that I could quietly and comfortably love all these things while pretending to just be his friend.
The weather was getting colder and the ground was coated in shattered leaves. It felt so strange that I had known Hunter for less than a month. There was such a familiarity in the front seat of his Volvo. It all felt like washing my clothes. I could have fallen for him with my eyes closed. But my eyes were always wide open and his eyes were always grey and green and looking right at me. His hair had tints like a sparking fire every time he tilted his head. The bones in his fingers waxed and waned. His feet always pointed out. Jeans with a single cuff, shirtsleeves pushed above his elbows. His skin was golden, even in the tail end of fall. Lips like peonies.
“I could kiss you.”
My mom heard me say it in my sleep.
I could kiss you, I could kiss you, I could kiss you.
Three May’s ago, I met a boy at drivers-ed. I was four hours late. He pulled me out a chair. I smelled like sweat. When my mom came to pick me up, she asked who that boy was, and I said, “someone I’ll probably never see again!”