It’s hard to be in love and hating yourself. Like finding hay in a needle stack, how to damaging it may be to admit one’s love and shoving one figurative hand into one figurative stack, the shiny sharp ends stab as you try to find it. Sometimes the obstacles of it all seem to want to topple one’s heart but to push forward, to realize you’re not as lifeless as you thought you were. A new light can be born, a brightness forms and pumps through your veins, rushing to every extremity. But sometimes it takes more than putting your hand in the needles to get to that hay to reach that level of insanity we call love.
I wasn’t sure where I needed to go, but I felt the need to go someplace quiet. Everything in my house or her apartment seemed to be far too loud. I stare at the ceiling as Yumi yells from behind her changing screen. “Have you seen that gold ring of mine?” she asks. I look at both nightstands but don’t see anything. “Not for awhile.” I reply. I listen to her curse and mumble as she looks for it. I try to stare at the ceiling as she shuffles and tosses things. I sit up on the bed. “I’m going to head home.” I say. As the words leave my mouth the noises stop briefly for her to reply. “Alright, I’ll see you later!” she yells. I pull out my device and think of a place that is calm and constant, well let’s not beat around the bush here, I needed to go to see the ocean. I am rather predictable sometimes.
I peel my shoes and socks off. The pearly white sand appears to be teeth gnawing at the pitch blue water. A sequence that is disturbing yet tranquil. I stuff my socks into my shoes and roll my pant legs up. Even though it’s useless as I go in up to waist level. The water pushes me then pulls me closer, then the further from the white teeth. Feeling exhausted with the fight I walk out of the water and fall face first into the sand. I turn over and yell towards the sky “It is just too easy for me to hate myself, why can’t it be easier for me to love her at the same degree?” But the sky does not answer me. So I sit up and shout to the sea “Is it that I don’t want to love?” but the ocean inhales and exhales, breathing, listening. “I want to love her, I do love her, but I loathe myself… I will never be able to do it right, I haven’t in the past, what will change the result this time?” The ocean does not answer, as it is only the ocean. Frustrated I take the half pint out of my pocket and pour all of the liquid inside me. I fall back onto the damp sand. The clouds always move faster near the coast, like unsheared sheep dancing on a blue field.
I wake-up as dusk forms. I still fill drunk, which is good. I pick-up washed up stones and throw them into the sea, but they are swallowed before they skip. I wonder about the butterfly effect, how a misplaced stone might change the future, how I probably shouldn’t go this far back. The voice in the back of my head pulls me forth onto the previous subject. “If I could fix myself, but how, what can I change now that would repair the damage?” I mutter to the sand as I walk to my shoes. I shake the sand from my feet, but only more is collected. “Fuck’en sand!” I yell to the beach. I stuff my socks in my back pockets and pull on my shoe. Something then clicks, like a switch to light, an instant of brightness. There was no quick fix and I was searching in the wrong places. It’s not a repair or fixing I am in search of, the damage is done and the grieving will pass with time. What I need to do, and what I should have done a long time ago and what I should do now, is to just let myself fall, and sink into the milky pit of love. I quickly put on my shoes, I can feel the sand scrape between my toes, but it doesn’t matter. I pull out my device and head to her apartment.
It’s dark, I stand still for a minute to let my eyes adjust. She lies on the bed each arm and leg pointing in every direction. I still have no idea how she could sleep like that. I creep slowly behind her vanity screen. Opening her jewelry box I go through each ring, pulling them close to my eyes for inspection. I didn’t realize how much she owned. After the 7th or 8th ring, I find the gold one I’m looking for. I place it into my pocket and close the jewelry box. I tip toe my way to her bed and with a little effort I give her a peck on the head, she snorts a little but doesn’t wake. I head back to my house.
The battery was dead on my car, it really hasn’t been the same since that time it took a swim. Instead, I go out back, air up the tires on my bike and head out. Oh god, I need to exercise more. I walk into the jewelry store pouring sweat. The woman behind the counter gives me look like she could smell me already. I ignore it and walk up to her smiling. “Hel…Hello.” I say still slightly out of breath. “I need to buy an engagement ring slash wedding ring.” The lady looks me up and down. “I see. What’s your price range? We do have a layaway program as well.” I look at the rings and the price tags next to them, holy fuck there were expensive. “Umm… I don’t really have a limit, just nothing too crazy looking.” The woman’s stink eye turns into bright eyes. “Very well sir, do you have a ring size?” she asks. I dig the gold ring out of my coin pocket and hand it to her, she pulls a keychain like an object from under the display and measures the ring to them. “So she’s a 5.” She says. I nod my head pretending like I knew what that meant. “Here’s the ring back, let me put something together for you sir and we’ll see what may be to your fancy.” I wait around as she goes from one display to the next. The sweat finally dries as she comes back. Putting the small display of rings on the counter. I spot the one for Yumi right away.” That one!” I say pointing at a gold band with a single diamond in the middle. “A wonderful choice, sir.” she says as she pulls the ring out and puts the rest back under lock and key. I follow her back to the register as she puts the ring into a box then into a bag. She gives me the total, which causes me to sweat again. I pay her and leave the store. The ride back is twice as hard.
I took a nap then cleaned myself up. I comb my hair, which isn’t something I normally do, or well ever. It’s more or less in a constant state of chaos. Well, I appear in her apartment and the table is already laid out, how is it I am a time traveler but still too late to help. I walk into the kitchen where I find Yumi reaching into the cabinet for some spices. I slide my fingers around her hips and the bulge of the ring box pokes her. “Not yet, I need some food in me first.” she says. I kiss her on the head and back away. I open the wine as she strains the noodles. We eat and we try to talk about each other’s day, which we both don’t really want to talk about so the conversation dies out pretty quickly. Pulling her gold ring out of my pocket I pinch it between my fingers and show it to her. “I found this on the floor.” she plucks it from me and puts it on. Examining it on her hand she smiles, I smile, lots of smiles. “I guess with it on that finger it means we’re married now.” I say smirking still. She blushes, removes the ring from her finger, and puts it on the table. “Seconds?” She asks lifting my plate from the table. “No thank you.” I say, without a smile.
The light that comes from the uncovered window makes it easier to see her body. I kiss, she kisses. I move, she moves. I should really get more exercise. I tip over and fall beside her. Soon, her more practiced body is over mine, the dim lights probably make it easier for her to see as well. The bed rocks, her fingers dig into my skin, my fingers grip the sheets. Like a thunderstorm, it is loud and crazy, then it’s gone. She rests against the headboard smoking. “Can you blow smoke rings?” she ask, puckering her lips and trying. I take the cigarette from her. “Not very well.” I say. I try and just a puff comes out. I hand the cigarette back to her. I reach down and fetch the box out of my pants pocket. Gripping it in my hand I sit up next to her. “There’s too many people to care about, and not enough time to care for all of them. I’m not really saying this right. What I mean is you’re the one I love the most. Will you marry me?” I open the box and it gathers all the light it could. She looks at it, puts the cigarette out in the ashtray, and lays down facing away from me. I stare at the ring, then at the back of her head. I set it on the nightstand and go to sleep.