Bathroom or how I learned how much my stomach could take.

I hate the person I have become. I have granted myself the ability of lying about my security. When it is easy to see I am as fragile as porcelain. This face is cracked, no, I am granted with the pleasure of being broken. I am living under the high water mark, I breathe in and I take in water. Nothing more. I run my fingers across the tile floor, is it 2 or 4, this isn’t clear from the small bathroom window, I try to heave myself up, to remove myself from this room but I am trapped. There seems to be no easier way to destroy me, than me. It’s hard to forget someone, especially when you’re in love with them. You beat yourself up, to then pick yourself up, to beat yourself up again, a constant cycle of abuse, but how much if any more could this soul take.

I have tried my best to avoid all the places we went together, all the things we did together. I couldn’t handle seeing her, not yet. oh god, not yet. While sifting the empties around trying to find a drop of that spirit that I need, all dry. I dress and head to the store, I was thinking, I guess it was some sort of auto pilot, drifting aimlessly or purposely into the direction of her. I grab the small basket next to the door and head straight for the liquor section. The floor feels slick under my shoes as my pace quickens. I pretend to browse for a few seconds then grab what I came for. The store seems busier than usual “Is there a holiday this weekend?” I ask myself while scanning the large lines and disgruntled faces. I move into a line, to join ranks with the other annoyed customers. Shifting back and forth in my shoes, something catches in the corner of my eye, like a bright light or a shine off a watch. I turn to see what it was and there she stands. All breathing stops, the world becomes motionless, my eyes trace over her frame, then my heart drops.¬† Grasped in her hand was another. I drop the small basket which makes a loud clank. The noise of the store returns as everyone looks at me, including hers. I panic, darting left, then right, then left again. Trying to make an escape. She calls after me as I slip my way between baskets and a magazine rack. I was running now, just running. As if on a downward slope, my legs catch speed. Winded I come to a stop, 8 or 9 blocks away from the store. Breathing in and out fast my head tingles and my legs ache. Not really sure on what to do, I pull out my device.

I stand in the over-lit parking lot. My car sits like a deserted island in this vast striped sea. Under my windshield wiper sits a quickly scrawled note. I ball it up recognizing the pink paper kitty watermark. I try to throw it on the ground but can’t, my hand is extended in front of me as I pull it back and shove the note into my pocket. I sit in my car for several minutes giving the steering wheel a beating it didn’t deserve. I drive to a small gas station that was also part liquor store. I purchase what I originally set out for, my hand checking hard as I give the cash needed for the purchase. The attendant gives me a blank look like she’s seen this all before and she really doesn’t care anymore.

I lay on my couch with the empty glass on my chest, I cannot drive not like this. I pull out my device, but it falls onto the floor. I try to reach for it but I fall on the floor as well. The wood is cool and welcoming as I lay there wanting and not wanting to move. I roll to my side some minutes later and the crumbled up note falls out. A stare at it for a few seconds, wondering if I should open it or not. When finally my wants out weigh my needs as I lay there on the floor with the note stretched out above my face. “You don’t look well, call me.” The note reads. Angry at the contents of the note or myself I try hard to throw it to the other side of the room. “Fuck this.” I slur. With some effort, my device is again in my hand. I squint hard at it before it clicks.

The concrete is colder than the wood floor. I pick myself up and walk up the stoop. The lofts lights pour onto the street. I knock only once and she’s at the door “You’re not looking very well.” with an almost hiccup between each word. “I can say the same for you.” trying hard to hold my own slurs. We hug. I notice then how small her body is as my arms wrap around her.

The living room has the feel of a woman. The old mixing in with the new but everything going perfectly as in an agreement on how to tie the whole room together. I stare at the hole in my sock that my big toe made as she walks back from the kitchen with two glasses of whiskey almost filled to the brim. I take mine and gulp a little too much, my throat burns and my stomach yells but I just cough it off. “Good is it not?” She asks as she slides herself next to me on the couch. Her tiny fingers run through my hair as I try to compromise with my belly to hold everything in. “So why do you look such like shit?” She asks as her cold palm finds my neck. “Things, have not been the very best for me…” I take another drink, again my stomach turns. “I know what you mean, things haven’t been well either here.” She removes her hand from my neck and wraps both around her glass as she pours the rest of the whiskey inside her. “You go first then.” I say still amazed by her drinking ability. “You know what is really tough? Having to lie about your past. It is as if I do not have one. I cannot make love work for me.” She finishes by bringing her knees to her chin as if trying to make her legs a wall to protect herself. Brushing her hair out of her face I speak “I know, and I’m sorry I didn’t know what else to do then, and quite honestly I generally have no idea what to do.” My stomach complains some more when I get the feeling to shift myself into a ball as well, making myself small so the world or life cannot hurt me. Instead I clutch my device hard causing my hand to hurt. “How about we go somewhere, you know somewhere else?” I ask Tori. She pulls her head up and with an almost smile and tears in her eyes she asks “Anywhere?” “Anywhere” I respond.

The streets of Tokyo are busy, the summer dress she wears give a radiance that I needed to see. “Where do you want to go?” I ask as she pulls me along the side walk. “Oh, I will show you, do not worry we are almost there.” her hand grasping tighter as she yells back at me. We stop at a cross walk to wait for the light to change, cars pass by that in my time people would call classics. The light changes and again I am whisked along. Quite rapidly the urban world we were surrounded by changes to one of wilderness. We stop along a green field and a pond, cherry blossom trees ¬†stand perfectly spaced as far as I could see. The pink flushes itself around the surroundings giving everything a glow of happiness and near perfection. “I cannot believe we made it to hanami, this is so wonderful. I love this, I love this…” She fades into a whisper. We make our way to a bench and I light a cigarette for her and I. “This is breath taking… Just amazing, I’ve never been one for flowers but all of this…” I wave my hand towards the trees. “all of this is just, perfect…” We sit smoking away that cigarette when I feel the drunkenness being replaced with a headache. “So are you ready to go back?” She gives me a look of that yells no. I nod and return to my seat next to her. The sun goes down and the headache kicks into full gear. “So, do you want to stay? I mean this is your time, it’s understandable, the only thing I have to ask is, will you life here be any better than the one you have in my time?” I felt selfish, but I just didn’t want to lose her too. She stands giving small smile and begins to walk to a small group of bunched up bushes. “I can get it you know, you don’t have to come back, you don’t have to, I will not force you…” We get to the bushes and she turns toward me. “I’ll just miss yo…” She places her hand once more into mine. I smile at her and she smiles back. I pull out my device and give her a nod and she gives one back.

I guess it wasn’t the exact moment, it wouldn’t work, but it was close. I press down on my device, I hear the click at the same time her hand slips away from mine. I stand alone in her loft. Emptied handed and even more, a heart was broken. I ready my device to go back, to ask her why. When I guess my own words come back at me and I stop. I pocket my device, head to her room, and fall asleep on top of the covers. Heartbroken, but happy.

-Karl