I want to remember us like this: in love, on a beach, our arms connecting to the same body. Every day the past grows more and more hazy. It’s harder to remember you, all of you—just bits and pieces stay behind. But I’ll always have the kiss. The funny thing about loving you is that it can only end in losing you: either you leave, or I leave, or one of us dies. I have been left, discarded, tossed away by so many lovers that there’s clearly a foregone conclusion to reach when I try to love another man. In dating we are destined to be disappointed. The true thing happens only once. Why does this need persist? To attempt again the tired first-conversations and first kisses unlike yours. That inevitable result: loss. I read somewhere yesterday: insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Imagine each chair represents a person in the world who is thinking of you this very minute. What a bold testament this is to your likeability, how much potential for love exists in the world you inhabit. It comes at you from all directions. If you have been loved, your probability of being loved again increases exponentially. Love makes you anti-immune. You become more susceptible to it the more it infects you. This is true for all people, and so now we say the luckiest people are also, generally speaking, the sickest.
for Gina Franco
This is not an emergency. This is not a test. When I walk along the shore to hear the waves crash, it triggers some kind of alarm nevertheless. Yesterday I stood in the dishsoap aisle of the dirtiest Kmart in the United States. I was wrapped in the smell of that apartment and it rang the alarm. The quiet of the hotel room at night rings the alarm. The empty plate of room service food left outside the door triggers that alarm. To travel alone is to see the world as it if were in a heightened state of alert. A code orange. When I realized they weren’t rushing to save me, it occurred to me then, for the first time, that I actually was in very real danger. There is more to say——too much to squeeze into this mere note. Have you been able to read what I never said?