Wednesday, March 01, 2006

While I wait I hold my hand up to the lightbulb, watching myself lit up from the other side. I'm not quite sure just how thick the connections are that hold what's me inside. Holding still, I trace with my eyes the edge of me.

"Were you in love with him?"
"I thought I was, then. Which means yes, doesn't it? I mean, if it's what I thought I was feeling then it must have been what I was feeling, right? So, sure. Yes."
"What happened?"
"He wasn't in love with me back, not so far as I could tell. One day I got tired of the maintenance and just sort of...stopped feeding it, and it wandered off. Like a stray cat."

Tonight I walked past a recently burned house, a blackened series of holes that still smell like a campfire. I have always been afraid of being caught in a housefire--it's something that wakes me up in the night, panicked, a fear that has hounded me for years. Somehow standing in front of the house, a block away from my own, I couldn't work up any fear. And as I walked farther I thought about it, and I realized that the whole time I stood in front of it most of my mind was occupied with what happens after I stop waiting, when I look away and feel other eyes tracing the edge of me.

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