Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Before Traffic

I always wanted a brother. You were the closest I ever got. I remember sitting on this bench by the river with you, waiting for dawn to become day. Neither of us had slept. On a coffee high we'd gone skating at three ay emm. We witnessed the reversal of the normal world. Carved shapes in the quiet of that lull before Saturday begins.

A lot of it was about freedom, back then. We sketched bold lines around ourselves and refused to let reality in. We worked night jobs to pay the rent and bought records with the change. And we pushed ourselves every day to be better than the greats. You'd take an empty parking lot and convert it into a playground. I'd pull leaves from my hair and give to each a thousand names.

I can stop and sit here and know we have something real. Something beyond gender roles and sexuality. These trees offered us shelter a long time ago. Sometimes I see that girl when I look in the mirror. Sometimes, before the day has got its teeth into me and gravity has exerted its pull. We are all half an inch taller when we wake. And our hearts have four chambers. You occupy the space in mine reserved for climbing trees, fairy lights and face to face sleeping. If I miss more than the physical proximity to you, it's only quiet nights with notebooks, and that bathroom light that never came on.

Who we were then brings us to who we are now. A lot has changed, and yet. There is always a rediscovery of old selves when we walk familiar paths. I cannot pause here, dazzled by the carpet of silver leaves, and not think back to how your body never fit you right, how your bones were always at odds with everything else. And when we hugged, I imagined bundling you into a pile, scared you'd break if I let you go too quickly. And when we hugged, I imagined me melting and never having to be solid again.

I stand solid now. And it's not so bad. And you're more breakable than you thought you were, but you're okay. Everything fixes with time. I'm glad that you're back in my everyday. Sometimes it's almost like you're in the next room, and if only I knocked loud enough, we could be drinking bonus cups in that space between time before real traffic starts. It's good to find who I was again. Nice to look behind my eyes and find staring out a girl who once threw herself off buildings. A girl who learned the secrets of flight.

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