She has a voice that shatters memory. Every time I hear it, I forget another birthday. Another past crush dies. Relatives cease to be names or faces. I cannot bring them back. I can only focus on hips, knees and shoulders. A tuft of hair above The Zone that I deliberately nibble on so I get a thread caught in my teeth. It makes me feel like a teenager again.
I look for her car as I walk the streets; any time I see that model in that colour I push my chest out and lift my chin. It might be her, and I don’t want to be slouching. I have nightmares about tripping over my laces and falling at her feet, breaking my nose and bleeding all over her sandals.
She calls me Martin and she calls me a cunt. I’m neither. But I give up dignity and identity to cuddle her jacket when she gets too warm. I rehearse conversations in my spare time, and then try to spring my ‘spontaneous’ one liners on her anecdotes. They always fail. I always stumble.
Perhaps I’m too weak to be adored. Her on-off boyfriend, Taylor, is now off. He was too weak to see a rival in the short grass when he focused all his attention in the trees. That’s why he looked the other way when I lost control of my car, breaking his pelvis.
I see her, sitting in the park. Chest out, chin up. Hold that thought…