“I fell in love with you the first time I saw you fall off a horse.”
Her eyes are watery, glistening in their sockets. I can’t tell if it’s drool running over my lips and down my chin and neck or just some bruised emotional response to what’s happened, happening.
“You’re so stupid.”
She’s wiping at her eyelashes. If she keeps doing it I feel she’ll have no eyelashes left by this time next week. The window is open and all I can think is I know the mosquitoes are eating me alive and I can’t feel it. Most people unconsciously wish they could live a life in which mosquito bites don’t itch, can’t be felt. Others don’t mind the actual itching and scratching, finding themselves more inclined to fume at the violation of it all, the unseen bloodsucking and flying off into the night.
“I told you not to go.”
I think what happened was I drank a little too much, as is habit, and walked or stumbled out to the stables, snuck a horse out with what I can only imagine as indescribable grace and horsemanship, thereupon divining myself up onto it’s back, into the saddle… And there’s where all memory stops. And if I’m being honest, something I am not necessarily known for among both friends and enemies- everything I just remembered could be made up. I’d cry if I could feel anything physical. Not for me, but for this girl that knows the truth, the reality that I can’t remember. I can hear Sarah, and I think I can see her, but what I am listening to could be nothing more than unreality catching up with me. She sobs uncontrollably and I see her right arm, the good one, swing and slap my left arm. I can’t feel it and though my head wants to whip toward her in some accusatory fashion, nothing happens.
I fell in love with Sarah under a harvest moon. Sarah says it was blue and I made a mental note to check and see if harvest moons are ever blue. I never checked. I told her before we got serious that I can’t really have friends because I fall in love too quickly, platonic, heart-love, sexual fantasy, all of them separately but often attributed to the same person. And as a result I end up hurting everyone, like a man made of plutonium, some inevitable occurrence will disrupt my atmosphere and I’ll blow up and there won’t be anything left of us: and so I lie. I lie and never stop lying.
And now in an ironic twist of fate, here I am lying, on my back, catheter rooted and probably a dish of some kind caressing my naked buttocks, tubes jutted unfelt into my skin and veins, into my blood and the girl I may have actually changed for is crying and pulling out her eyelashes and I can’t even muster up the words, “It’s okay.”
word by Anthony Statham
colour by Sarah Burwash