A Hope Chest of Light Keeping


Today I drove by our old house. I do not live there any more. You do though. You and the dog, and the tiny holes left from the push pins I made trying to turn the house to a home. You didn’t notice, it seems, the tiny holes I left or the trying I tried to do. Ah well. Unlucky in love and decorating. I am a wiz at taking thing down and tiptoeing (see: screeching) away like I was never there at all. 

When I drove by, the light was on in the dining room. I knew that because it was my favorite room in the house in the evening. The kitchen light too was on. I know this because I craned my neck back to search for any clue that you were ok, because despite it all, I truly hope you are.
I am lucky, you never really loved me. And because of that you never truly let me love you. And so my heartache is strange and lopsided. Like a sweater in a favorite color that fits in some ways but mostly you are holding onto it for unknown reasons.
I like to think of you doing ok. Cooking something good, you are a great cook afterall. The apartment is mostly clean, the bed is made. And you are alright. You are singing to loud music with no one to tell you to stop. And playing with Bella. I imagine she is also ok too. Fat and playful and soft and doing that loud breathing thing she would do when she would have a toy in her mouth. Then I have to stop thinking about her because it hurts too much, and I realize too that this has to do with you. With what I was hopeful for and with what happened. 
What a mess we made of that place. The place we tried to make together. Not the apartment, but the apartment too-which now, without my things is lopsided and sparsely decorated. And yet perhaps you have found a way to make it your own. Yours and just yours-not mine-it was never meant to be mine to begin with.
I was silly to believe in that paper moon you pointed to out of desperation, calling it mine. Promising to bring it down to me.
I wonder if you think about me at all, with any sort of sad rememberance. Any sort of regret. I miss the two people who were laughing so hard in the bathroom while doing face-masks we almost fell on the floor.
I miss the first night we brought Bella home and you were so nervous you said you would sleep on the floor next to her to make sure she’s ok.
I miss the cold air conditioner and the heavy blankets and the smell of your soap and the taste of your sautéed onions. The funny things about you, the small things I wanted to be special but ended up being washed over. The desire and hope. All untacked and packed away. All leaving holes against my rib cage where water leaked out and I deflate like a balloon. You bled me so slowly I didn’t feel it happening. I should have known it was the pushpins. Even tiny holes leave damage. 

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