Sometimes I'm not sure what to make of myself. One minute, I'm sitting on the bus listening to music, and the next I'm biting my lip to push back a feeling. Why these outdated thoughts continue to cross my mind confounds me. I wasn't necessarily sad, more disappointed, and the feeling was not even necessarily unwelcome. Getting lost in the words bouncing in my headphones, I got caught in a daydream a year late. Conspiratorial affections shared among the stacks in the library, in reading rooms. Words traced intentionally on wrists. Sketched out flirtations and hearts drawn on hands.
I remember where it was and when it happened. A bit of ball point pen ink from a bic pen, in just the right shape. It was perfectly centered around the freckle below my knuckle. Our palms sweat and we didn't seem to care. I couldn't stop smiling. Even our feet fit perfectly together, standing at attention for a farewell. How it all went wrong is obvious to me now, but that doesn't mean I don't regret that it did. It was what always happens: life. It was fleeting, passionate, and lacking the dedication to persist. We were both too flighty, both too unsure, both too scared. Too lost. It wasn't meant to last, though it was meant to be, if only for a little while.
I know why it didn't work. I still think about him, and I wish things were different. I wish we just talked, because he pulled me up, he knew me from cover to cover, and I didn't mind. When blue eyes met brown, I knew he knew me. He didn't always know what was on my mind, but he cared. Even when he was so caught up in his own messes, he'd try. Or I would relent. It wasn't really enough, when he wasn't all the way there, when he was too distracted. I still wish we'd talk, just about things, things that actually matter. He made sense to me in a funny way, a way that nobody else has really made sense to me. I really do love him, and I know he feels the same, but not in the way that either of us can parlay into a committed relationship. It was too unstable. We understand eachother, but not in the right way. There was too much judgement. It wasn't quite unconditional. It was forgiving, but not unconditional.
Sitting on the bus on your way to work in the morning is not the best time to lose yourself in thoughts that are bound to make you look lonesome. As I walked to work, turning up the music, and forcing a smile to my lips, I worried that my eyes would give it away. That some passerby would catch my eye, and notice it. They're the one place I can't always make smile, and I'm not sure I want the world to know I'm not smiling. Eyes are the windows to the soul, and it seems to me that it's safer to keep the shutters drawn. Someday I'll open the windows and let the wind blow through again.