Life Story Vancouver Writing

The Squid Pt. 26 – Skeletons

I’ve been hung up on two major points in this whirlwind. Two strong facts of us that bring me to a place where I feel that everything will be okay. And ultimately, that’s my belief.

This whole thing begun in a flurry. Neither of us were extremely keen on putting any appendage in the water. But somehow we tripped on talents, shaped by back story, and wound up keeping each other afloat in the pool. Through discontent, desire, adoration, we sought reciprocity. And found it. I can’t conjure up the right verse to explain the incomprehensible circumstances that brought me here, her here, us here together. Nor do I want to. Chance can have that one.

We have no need for castles, and thrones. We’re more like adventurers. Teammates. Each other’s player 2. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m putting her through the ringer, and she’s even questioned my intentions with confrontations citing are you trying to test me? To which my body only had the ability to sink into itself, as a defense mechanism. I hate that I make her feel that way sometimes. I’ve even been inarticulate enough with my thoughts that I’ve uttered the phrase I wish I hadn’t met you quite yet. As if, in this delusional mindset, I’d be more suitable with time. Like I’m a unripened fruit. Luckily, I ended up sitting next to the one woman who just scoffs, smacks my shoulder, and tells me don’t be a dink. We’re here now. Undeniably entangled. Irrefutably lost.

We stood on the sidewalk. This beaten, dusty structure stood before us. Holding onto the end of this path of stones, like a helpless animal, frightened this building was. We just stared at it. She looked down at our feet, reached her arm around the back of mine, and locked her fingers into the fingers I use to write this now. She brings her free arm across her body and runs her palm down my forearm. Still, we gaze forward. Slowly she leans her head to the side until it is pressed firmly against my bicep. I could feel her soft grip tighten with a large sigh. We wait in this moment for a spell. Or two. Several actually. I love you. She assures me. I return the sentiment. pulling her head off my arm, she stands tall beside me. Shoulders back. Chin up. Hair… as beautiful as ever. Still, we remain anchored at the mitt. I’m ready. The proclamation juts out of her mouth like spit. Stern. Vibrant. Flush with confidence. I hesitate, I’m in awe of her seemingly ease with a conqueror’s adoration, it vanquishes the fear. So, we take the inaugural steps. As soon as we’re passed the once-home of the fence, the stories start. I run through scenes, endings, beginnings, horrors, and trivial matters — for levity. Through the front door the putrid smell of rotted flesh, and bones fill the nostrils and wipes away all positivity via our factory senses. Yet her hand never waivers from my extremity. The wallpaper peeled off the wall like a fire victims flesh, and the charcoal beams that holster the hatred of things hidden behind the drywall are exposed. For the first time, I’m not afraid to let someone see them.

We continue the tour. Every room has a tale. Weaved through the carpets brandishing cigarette burns, up the tattered curtains that no longer block the sunlight from pouring in through the shattered windows, is a time and a place. A life I once knew. In and out of separate adjacent chambers we crawled. She spoke not a word. Just her eyes darting in between extended periods of fixation on me as I picked up a photo, blew off the debris, and spoke of it’s captured moment. My verbal vomit was continuous.

We took another break near the bottom of the stairs. The waft of ashtray plumed down the steps. We shared a glance. She turned to me and stuck her arms under my arms, pressed her face into my chest and squeezed. I clutched deeply. Once released, I placed my hand on the skull that sat atop the starting newel. Making our way around the bend, every placed footing pressing moans from the boards beneath us. With each raise and lower of our limbs another week cranked out of the clock. By the time we reached the landing, it felt like we started this journey years prior. The saunter down the hall was quiet. I had no hold on this part. Nothing to tell. Just a long, and painful passage. We passed a room that had a metal door, strewn across the outside in an “x”, crime scene tape. My parent’s room. For another time I mumble, with my head held low, she nods and continues along with me. We stop at my room. The door is complete. Not perfect. But doings its job better than anything else in this abode. Upon opening it, there was nothing. Not a piece of furniture. Not a poster of a band or a trophy. Not a toy, nor collectible. In the corner sits grayed out Jayne, mostly asleep. He’s old, docile, and excited to see me. Yet in his age, lack of physical capability trumps desire to smother me in affection. I understand it. I close the bedroom door behind us and pull her towards me. We fixate on the other’s eyes for a moment before I motion behind her. Turn around. I say. As she does, there glows a closet door so white that you could swear it has a hint of blue in it. The only colored part of the tour. 

She leans in. “Skeletons” she reads out loud. For the first time since arriving, I allow her hand to sift through mine, and let go. Open it I pry. Her hand reaches for the handle, still warm from the grip of mine, and just as it begins to twist… I say; You will be the first. But I stand here more man than I was without you. Brimming with the confidence of your love, and defiant against the weight of the world. I want you to see me. Know why I wince. What makes me flinch or flee. I am aflutter with fear when I look at you because I’ve never been so sure that I had to let anyone see inside there. Which I can’t fathom holding you back from. You’ve seen the obvious. The damage, the structure, standing in the open. But you… are the only person I want to see behind that door. I don’t care if we tussle, or scrap. That means nothing to me. At the end of the day I only have one question; do I have you tomorrow? If the answer is yes, then I will always be fine. This, however, does not make me delusional. As I am fully aware that you will most likely not be there in the end. The end is far (hopefully) away. There’s a reason each room leading here is nearly unrecognizable. What this does make me aware of, is your supremacy. In both intellect and heart. And that your’s is the face I would like to see when I look to my side, for a very long time. So again, my love, open the door. Before I lose you, I want you to have all of me. She completes the turn of the handle, and opens the closet containing never-touched, kept in the dark, artifacts. She reaches out to hold my hand again. Never waivers.

I guess I’ll have to elaborate on those two points during some other stupor. I promise, they’re grande.


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