— Miles Walser, excerpt from “A Sonnet of Invented Memories”
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the sound I heard when I was 9 and my father slammed the front door so hard behind him I swear to god it shook the whole house. For the next 3 years I watched my mother break her teeth on vodka bottles. I think she stopped breathing when he left. I think part of her died. I think he took her heart with him when he walked out. Her chest is empty, just a shattered mess or cracked ribs and depression pills.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s all the blood in the sink. It’s the night that I spent 12 hours in the emergency room waiting to see if my sister was going to be okay, after the boy she loved, told her he didn’t love her anymore. It’s the crying, and the fluorescent lights, and white sneakers and pale faces and shaky breaths and blood. So much blood.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the time that I had to stay up for two days straight with my best friend while she cried and shrieked and threw up on my bedroom floor because her boyfriend fucked his ex. I swear to god she still has tear streaks stained onto her cheeks. I think when you love someone, it never really goes away.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the six weeks we had a substitute in English because our teacher was getting divorced and couldn’t handle getting out of bed. When she came back she was smiling. But her hands shook so hard when she held her coffee, you could see that something was broken inside. And sometimes when things break, you can’t fix them. Nothing ever goes back to how it was. I got an A in English that year. I think her head was always spinning too hard to read any essays.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s that I do.
1.PLUG IN YOUR HEADPHONES.
DO NOT LISTEN WITHOUT HEADPHONES!
3.CLOSE YOUR EYES.
ENJOY A VIRTUAL HAIRCUT.
DO IT NOW.
THIS IS LITERALLY LIFE CHANGING.
Woah, I actually got chills when he whispered.
OMG. I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS FOR MONTHS. FINALLY REAPPEARED ON MY DASH.
I thought this would be like; “Oh cool. Yeah, that sounded like a haircut.”
NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.
YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.
YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND.
The back of my head is tingling.
WHEN HE WHISPERED, I FELT HIS BREATH ON MY EAR, AND I’M HOME ALONE IN A LOCKED ROOM, AND I HAD MY EYES CLOSED, AND FORGOT WHERE I WAS. JESUS CHRIST.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT!! WHEN HE WHISPERED THAT REALLY FREAKED ME OUT. I FELT LIKE HE WAS RIGHT THERE.
omg at the beginning I thought someone was trying to break into my house!!
fuck this I literally just thought someone was at my window and my heart is pounding
I laughed out loud at the tickling from the buzzer wtf
had my headphones on the wrong way round at irst. this is amazing
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT
I FLIPPED MY SHOT WHEN HE PUT THE BAG OVER MY HEAD AND WHISPERED IN MY EAR
I LITTERALY FORGOT WHERE I WAS
THAT WAS AMAZING
WHAT THE FUCK
YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THOS AND LISTEN TO IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH
OMG NO THAT FREAKED ME OUT I KEPT FLINCHING THINKING SOMETHING BAD WAS GONNA HAPPEN..
I JUMPED WHEN HE WHISPERED
I literally touched my head to make sure I still had hair at one point
I REMEMBER THIS! PEOPLE HAD IT ON THEIR PHONES WHEN SMARTPHONE WASNT A THING AND THEY WOULD TAKE THEIR CRUSTY ASS PHONE AS THE ELECTRIC RAZOR
DONT LISTEN BY YOURSELF IN THE DARK I SERIOUSLY THOUGHT SOMEONE WAS IN MY HOUSE OMG
It’s like I’m dead inside my own body.
a girl’s feet will tangle yours under sheets you just bought for a night like this. the price tag is still glued to the plastic wrapping stuffed underneath the bed. her feet are frigid and feel like frostbite against your legs when you fall asleep, but they’re like mittens roasted over a fire when the sun blinks through the curtains.
a girl’s legs are taut and thick. they’re flexible and enclose you in a straightjacket at 2 am when they knot around your waist and pull you just a little closer. if she’s still sleeping, it’s even better.
her thighs will make you forget about your calculus homework and your french exam. they will make you forget about your father’s affair or your best friend’s disorders. they will make you forget your name and they will make you forget who you are without them. hold them as tight as you can. i promise, she loves it.
when you were in fourth grade, they taught you stop, drop, and roll at the sign of a fire. when you’re in her bedroom on the second floor, her quivering hips will trick-start a similar fire in your teeth, and you’re going to want to listen to your fourth grade teacher, but don’t. if you stop, whatever it may be that you’re doing, she might kill you.
so in health class, they’re supposed to teach you that your hands will never fit somewhere like they will on a girl’s waist. it doesn’t matter if it’s wide and soft, or small and hard. your hands will adapt to her waist like the heart to your blood. they’ll feel as natural as fingers on an instrument.
sometimes you can see her ribs; sometimes you can’t. they flicker like an old grainy movie under her skin, and they feel like sharp magma in your palms. they’re structure — they protect her. hold her there if you want her to feel like this house isn’t caving in on herself.
her chest. promise her you’d never want anything more or anything less. if you don’t mean it, stop reading, and find someone else.
taste her collarbone. dip in the crevices and valleys and plant trees at the bottom. root down, cherish the nature, and never ever underestimate a girl’s collarbones. they’re a place to sleep when its -11 outside. write scripts on her collarbone. they are forever.
if you don’t know blueprints to her neck with your eyes closed from tracing it with your mouth, you’re doing it wrong. learn it. memorize it. you better know her pulse like counting with your dominant hand. kiss it like it’s her mouth. her neck will change over time, yes. but make sure you can change with it.
kiss her before she brushes her teeth. make fun of her morning breath. kiss her after, and make fun of the flavor of her toothpaste. kiss her when she’s angry and throwing the vase your mother bought her, and kiss her when she can’t stand and she bubbles over with tears like hot water. kiss her if she’s laughing and tell her it’s because she makes you happy. kiss her if she won’t stop talking because you want to taste her voice. kiss her when she isn’t talking because you miss it. kiss her in the shower and kiss her everywhere. if it’s raining, kiss her, and kiss her again when she calls you a cliche. kiss her in public because you want them all to know, and kiss her in private because you don’t need them to either. god, just kiss her on the mouth. nothing else matters. just fucking kiss her.