happy birthday m, here’s some word vomit

it is thanksgiving and it is your birthday and my room is a fucking mess.

if your room isn’t clean by 5, you’re not coming to thanksgiving dinner, my mom said. i think she was half-joking half-serious. i’m sitting on the edge of my bed texting you some long paragraph about how grateful i am for you and it is 11 am so i have 6 hours left.

what will i do in those 6 hours? stare at the wall and let my mind wander off to its favorite places? have it walk from you to you, take the bus from you to you, ride a bike around the block from you to you? my mind is so comfortable when it is on you. sweet, i think. my mind mirrors my body.

dear matt, i have it think. my heart has these strings and you pull on them daily. it irritates the fuck out of me. i’m not used to having my heartstrings pulled on yet you manage to do them without saying a word. i am 98% water and when you look at me with those stupid big brown doe eyes you make me want to empty myself out. maybe become the reason for the dew on the grass in the morning or the water levels rising. does that make any sense? at this point i don’t care if anything makes sense because it’s all a headfuck. you headfuck me. i’m so fucking whipped dude you’re driving me insane.

dear matt, i think. you are better than all of this. there is a world we are living in and it is slowly being destroyed because of people who don’t think twice about their actions. if it were up to me i would have us move to neptune just because it is my favorite planet. just you and me. i’d build us our own rocket, i’d make us our own space food, i’d write you a thousand letters while on the journey there. come, i want to write, come with me. we will go where nobody has gone before. will we have spacesuits when we get there, you ask? nah. you can be my spacesuit. let us make a statue of us, let us make it so big they can see us from earth. let them think damn, those two. they’re better than all of this.

dear matt, i think. you are to me like cigarettes are to my dad. i told him to quit a long time ago but he refuses to. they have become a part of his daily routine, they have become a part of him. every time he breathes in they are alive and well in his lungs. you are so goddamned addicting. like holy shit i feel like whenever i breathe there is this mess of you in my system and it feels so fucking good. it’s addicting as fuck but i fucking love it. my dad is 71 and he has no sign of lung cancer, don’t worry, we’ve checked again and again, and even doctors are telling us that it seems too good to be true. if that is the case then i’ll keep taking you. even though cigarettes are bad for some people they don’t cause cancer in others.

dear matt, i think. i really have to fucking clean my room. you see, you let my thoughts go off for a good 15 minutes (it’s only 11:15) and you consume all of them. all of this was freewriting, i didn’t edit, didn’t pause, just let them flow. 15 fucking minutes and you’re all i think about. what more if i let myself go on for 6 hours. i end my text to you with a “happy birthday you bitch. you’re my favorite,” and throw my phone under my pillow.

now, i think. i’m hungry. time to put in work.


i am fucked

you’d think that right now i’d be scared of you. cautious, rather. walking on thin ice. as if it could break in a second and i’d be down under and the cold would shake me to the fucking bone.

but i’m not. i am so goddamned open to you. i think if they were to pull apart my ribcage. take my heart into gloved hands. blacklight it to find fingerprints. they would find no one’s but yours. i think, would they know that you had dropped it two weeks ago? would they know that i had so easily given it back to you yesterday?

yesterday. at this point i don’t care if you are fragile with it or not. i just care that it is you who is holding it.

matthew. i feel like if i read the book from the bible with your namesake i would have a better understanding of what it is about you that i am so drawn to. it is yesterday. we are in my car and you are back, you are everything i’ve ever dreamed of, stubble from no-shave november and fluffy andrew garfield hair and black sweater and khakis and lankiness and all, under me. there is a rosary on my dashboard and you are pointing it out. everything feels holy but sinful at the same time. i am trying to remember what i learned about the book with your namesake from my theology class in junior year in comparison to the other three. was it the longest? was it the most detailed?

when you kiss me after i’ve convinced myself i was never going to taste you again i think, your book was probably the most beautifully written. intricately detailed and incredibly addicting and all.

i am standing on thin ice. i feel like everything could break in a second but i don’t care. “i missed you,” i say, and you are so goddamned beautiful. it is as if i am standing at the gates of heaven and peter is about to ask me for my greatest sin of all.

matthew, i’ll say.

there is no cold in my bones.

m 11/10

i like you so much when you are vulnerable with me. your words are stumbling over each other while you are talking to me about your dad. they are tripping on cracks and loose change and you are apologizing for how clumsy they are but i’m telling you i love them anyway.

i like you so much when you are open like me. i wear my heart on my sleeve and you know this, you found out when you touched my right shoulder and noticed that my heart rate had dropped because my heart slows whenever i am with you, just like time, just like the universe in all of its entropy. you pointed it out and said your pulse is slower than usual. wait. how am i feeling your pulse right now, my fingers are on your shoulder. hold on. is that your heart?

i like you so much when you take your heart out of your ribcage and lay it on your sleeve for me at night. you only do this when it is past midnight and you are on the phone with me, clumsily, with your words spilling out onto the floor. what a mess. i always tell you i’m okay with messes if they are from you and i get up to grab napkins. you are giving me your emotions now, your memories now, your reasons behind you, your reasons in front of you. while i am wiping up your words i am telling you i think i like you too much for my own good. and because your heart is on your sleeve, even though it is temporary and it will be taken back into your ribcage by the morning, you tell me that you like me so much too.

it is 3:14 a.m. put your fingers on my shoulder and kiss my heart with them. caress it. tell it that you are in like with me. it will tell you that it is so in like with you too. give it a few more talks like these and it’ll begin the transition from like to love.

this is how I love

I don’t want to boast, but I’ve heard it one too many times: “You’re so good at loving.”

In love we all have a teacher. Someone who has taught you, or continues to teach you, about love, in every sense of the word.

If I could give a person, and only one person, the whole world, I would give it to you in a heartbeat. All that I do through love I do it because of you.

I always tell people that you are the best “first love” anyone could ever have. Not because of what you have to offer, but because of who you are. I am learning with every new day, I am glowing with every new day, I am growing with every new day. I am meeting new people and loving new people and giving to new people and it is all because of you.

Through you I learned that what is received should never be accounted for. That giving is more, always more. That it is okay to love someone who does not feel the same kind of love towards you. That it is not your fault that it is that way. That loving comes with freedom, always freedom. That it is okay to love someone who loves someone else. That loving comes with selflessness but selfishness at the same time. That it sounds confusing that it is that way but it is, because you need to be selfless but you cannot channel all of that love onto someone that you end up forgetting to love yourself. That loving is an art, it is painting all of my feelings on a canvas and not giving it to you to put up in your room but instead leaving it in my room and sending you an invite to check it out whenever you feel like it, to come over whenever you feel like it. That love should always be open. That love should always be ready for change. That love should never be impatient or demanding, that it has been four years since I’ve fallen in love with you and it has become so quiet now but I still love you just the same. That love should never think in terms of loudness, that it should be expressed whenever it wants to be expressed, and silenced whenever it wants to be silenced. That it should never be controlled, or pushed away, or thrown away, or told you can’t stay here. That it should never expect anything in return, that it should never hold one to the highest of expectations, that it should never get upset or impatient when things don’t go its way. That love should just fucking be.

I don’t really have much else to say here. I just wanted to lay it out: I love you. I love you more than anyone in the entire world. You are my best friend and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But the way I love now is because of the way I love you.

m 11/8

i am with my ear against my phone. your voice is soft and you are near sleep. i can barely hear you. pressing my face to my phone annoys me but i do it just so that i can hear you talk a little louder.

“i like you.” “do you really?” “stop doubting me.” “show me.”

you came back and i got answers. i didn’t think you would come back. “don’t leave me again then.” “i’m not going to leave you.” “show me.”

“you know i heard you wrote me a lot of poetry when we weren’t talking.” “how could i have not. you left me hanging for a while. i had no other outlet.” “i know. i’m sorry, okay?” “show me.”

i am telling you to go to bed now. i can hear the sleep in your voice, it is heavy and it is drooping with its weight. “go sleep now. i like you.” “i like me too.” “makes a lot of sense.” “i like you too. trust me.” “show me.”

for a while i wondered what to do. should i go to bed too. should i finish my response essay. should i write you something. i decided to go with the latter. i am here now. writing you again. losing sleep again. growing again.

i like you so much it scares me. i like you so much the thought of you leaving me again scares me. i like you so much and i know you like me so much too. i just want you to show me.

m 11/5. again.

when i told people we were talking they asked me. “the sprinter?” “the one who won gold?” they all told me you were fast. i’ve always had a thing for runners. all of the people i’ve had “things” for, “things” that became bigger than life, were runners. one of them, who is one of my closest to this day, told me. “christen, you’re never going to fall for anyone who isn’t a runner.” but you. you were the first sprinter. i thought, i’m never going to get better than this.

a sprinter. you love the adrenaline. the thrill of the moment. just the moment. always just the moment. you’re never in it for the long run. it’s no surprise you were only with me for so long. i want to look back at our messages but i’m afraid of the sting. right now i want to feel nothing. just in this moment i want to feel nothing. but if i could look back at our messages i would look for the exact hour and minute you told me “i’m in this for the long run.” i should’ve known better. i should’ve delved deeper into the word ‘sprinter.’

you run at full speed for a short distance. no wonder why it felt like we would last forever. no wonder why it felt like it ended too soon. they were right. you were fast. hella. i felt like i blinked and suddenly you were gone. i would ask you to show me your medals but you are probably running at full speed for a short distance at another location. i wish you all the best.