Close your eyesClick. Boom. The moment when a record, like a person, crosses my guard and becomes familiar, anticipated. I still vividly remember when that happened with Ben. It was about an hour after I met him. Faster than Lochlan. Faster than Jake. Why can't I reach him now?
Drive away the cloud that hides the light
And leave the pain behind
Find a way to bury all the lies
Escape the pain inside
‘Cause I don’t want to fall
Or let you go
I've resorted to walking around the house behind him singing at the top of my lungs. I chose this album because it's a last-resort bitter-yet-hopeful, painful yet masterfully written account of how a heart breaks, precisely. Dark Before Dawn.
And he hates it because he can't hear the music (I have headphones), only the words and I'm singing them out as arrows, every one aiming for his heart but if you knew Ben he can block out an avalanche if he so chooses and today I'm the avalanche in his head.
Today? Lately. Since he came back. Probably since before he left but I didn't notice, I was busy having fun when I wasn't picking up the pieces of my heart. I keep tripping and I drop them or I smash into someone and they scatter everywhere. Under the jeep. Into the pool. Through the electric fence. Down into the shadows where I can't see them at all.
He is still sober. Not for long. Not at this rate, says everyone as if they know what's going through his head. But his head is thick. No one can see through it and I have faith that he hasn't reached that point and probably won't.
Oh good. A screaming, bitter song. They're punctuated with lovesongs and the timing is perfect.
He said yesterday that he wasn't prepared for the possibility that I would wait at all. I threw a book at him and yelled that he didn't know me, then. At all.
He said he did and that's why he's so surprised. And that he just doesn't know how to deal with it. I told him he could start by being Ben and that the rest would fall into place like it always does. He looked at me like I was crazy. I stood my ground until someone unhelpfully changed the subject to ease the tension. It didn't work.
It would have been easier.
Unless you were waiting for an out, you mean.
I wasn't though. I don't want one. But I didn't think I would get a choice.
But you did and it all worked out so what the fuck is this?
Was I a stranger before?
Before? No. But you might be one now.
But I'm not. I'm me.
My Bridget would have jumped.
Well she didn't. But she still can if she has no other choice left.
That's what keeps me paralyzed, Bee. That thought right there.