I woke up in a strange bed today, with a familiar numbness that coursed through my head. The kind of numbness that aches and shakes all the bright lights out of a typical morning. The kind of numbness I’ve known for a while. Eyes shut and heart strung tight, my feet touched the floor and recollections stumbled in like defeated soldiers. One by one. I was the stranger, not the bed. The bed was mine, but my soul was not. My spirit was burnt by the spirits of last night and the ashes collected in my dead eyes. In front of the mirror, a stranger stared back at me with the same surprised look I cast him. The stranger closed his eyes when I did and I saw a resemblance. Not the scar that graced both our right temples but the shade of another man inside him somewhere, a little far, out of reach. I did not want to be like the stranger. So I turned away from him and tried to remember yesterday.
The room glowed with dull amber lights like her face, obscured behind a cloud of intoxicating grey smoke. There was a storm in my glass, and it was the color of a clear lake. So deceptively calm and harmless. She was my shelter, at least for tonight. I might have been hers too, I probably was. But I could offer nothing but disillusionment. Give or take a cupful of grief. I looked at her but i could barely see her. And when she spoke, i listened. But i couldn’t hear her. Maybe that’s because we didn’t talk much that night.
I didn’t run away from my storm, but rather brought it along, into my shelter. She hardly minded.
And when we walked home, through the shadows and across our bridges, silence followed us like a loyal friend. Into the darkness of my house, we ran over each other with the wrecks that our bodies were. Like battered pieces of a puzzle struggling to fit together. To find that place of completion that would forever elude our individual bodies. The darkness slowly swallowed us both and in those fickle minutes of loss, i heard that other man inside me speak.
And a fire burnt and died in her eyes with my words. So quick and fast. Like our moment of completion.
Now, as i walked back into the bedroom, she was gone. With nothing at all but her clothes and a little piece of my soul. The cold water that dripped from my face washed away illusions and sobered up reality; a fading imprint of her minute figure on my sheets. The little piece of her i had taken. Monday mornings had a characteristic recurrence.
But then again, everyday was Monday.