I wanted to write us the greatest love story of all time.
But I am not great.
I don’t remember to put your coffee up when you ask me to and I lie there when you’re curled into me and I try to forget.
I wanted to write us love songs.
But the only music that plays in my heart is Taylor Swift singing about how you should remember me when you leave me and I don’t want you to leave me, no, but you’re going to leave me, and then I leave. I’m the one who goes. And it’s not the same, it never will be the same.
Nothing will ever be the same as waking up at 7:24 AM in the East Village and watching the sun peek at our naked bodies. Nothing will feel as good as waiting for you to wake up and when you finally do so, feeling your hand tenderly working its way down the tattoo on my side and coming to rest on the curve of my hip which you like so much. Nothing will be as special as turning over to see you standing and staring at me, looking at me, seeing me, telling me that I’m a work of art as you look at my stomach, a stomach I hated my whole life, a stomach I need to love now, because if I don’t love me, why should you?
Why should you?
This is a story of insecurity. Of me choking on my quesadilla, awkwardly sipping my Jameson sour and feeling uncomfortable because I, I am not classy, not even if you say I am, not even if you say my drink choices are. I am not classy. I am not champagne. I am not even beer. I am not a tall glass of water. Because I don’t sip from an ironic flask in the corner at galas. I don’t go to galas. I go to metal shows. I headbang. And I don’t drink. Not water. Not whiskey. Not anything.
I won’t end up with you.
I’m going to end up in Co-Op City in the penthouse with the views of a power plant pouring out smoke like words gushing from my fingertips except it’s not as fancy as it sounds; it’s just painful. Because you’ll be in the Hamptons with all-natural organic sodas and mimosas sipped on the porch with the husband, kids, and barking golden retriever, and maybe I’ll visit you there. Maybe I’ll don my best thrift store clothes and sneak into your house while your husband is playing tennis and Lord knows you hate tennis so you’ll be at home and we’ll fuck as the golden retriever watches because we’re good at that. No. You’re good at that. And I’ll lie there with your beard tickling me, not doing anything, not doing anything for you, and wonder why you even want me, because you don’t want me. Why would you want me? You want champagne and I am not champagne.
I am a beer belly.
But you like my beer belly.
So I’ll take off my clothes, one day, and look at myself in the mirror to find the clavicles on me which you like so much. I’ll trace my hands where you’ve touched me and wonder at what you feel, because it’s not half bad. It’s not half bad. I feel smooth in some places and lumpy in the others. It’s like driving through the US. Sometimes it’s pretty. Sometimes it’s Pennsylvania. Sometimes it just feels like a body. A body with feelings. A body that loves, whether or not you do.
© Chapin Langenheim, 2019