This one time, I was in love.
But he drank until his mind turned into a vapor and his thoughts stained everything, vicious and putrid, until he was wondering one thing after the next out loud and inside and all I had to talk to were the memories of his feelings soaked into the walls.
But he smiled so big his face hardly held his lips, his teeth, his laugh. He sang songs to me, sometimes with those very vapors and sometimes drenched in THC and secrets and all the world constantly watching him, to him. He lived in his head and every now and then he placated me with a word or a sound or a caricature of affection that was so diluted I had to wonder if he learned it from a show.
But he kept wandering in his mind and with his feet and with his attitude and with his intentions and nothing was ever the same as it was the day before. And I always felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff that would smash me into thin ice if I fell. And I always felt like some type of backup or a default just in case he never found anyone else to deal with all that vapor, just in case he was as odd as he thought.
This one time, I was in love and it felt like slipping constantly behind mirror after mirror after mirror and hearing him talk and laugh and scream to himself but losing sight of him more and more. By the end I was the only one left and I was the only one I could see and I still can’t really see around myself. Not really.
But I don’t leak vapor and I don’t find myself sinking into the floor and sometimes I’m okay with being the only one I can love as much as I love my sons. Sometimes I look down and I’m okay with my feet being bolted to the ground, with my heart staying intact in one place and not knowing how to dislodge it, how to give it, how to share it.
This one time, I was in love and I decided it was okay to let that die and let me live.