Big addition below! I am thinking of renaming this piece to “YOU.”
If you have any thoughts on the title change or the piece in general, please leave feedback 🙂
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I wish I could say I get time away from you when I’m in class.
But if I said that I’d be lying.
Nights before exams, I spend more time analyzing your body language: how YOU sit down at your desk, twirling your pencil like a baton, occasionally chewing on the eraser, frequently looking back at me sprawled out on your bed with textbooks and notes galore.
I imagine you grabbing my books and pens, throwing them on the floor and coming towards me hands-first. Besides your ceiling, I am at the highest point in your room, and your hands still reach me and crash into my lap like it’s a tide pool.
YOU roll your shirt up to your bra line and lie on your stomach.
“Can you rub my back?”
It’s almost midnight and I haven’t retained a sentence from my notes. YOU want me to stroke my fingers up, down and across your back. I want to go back to my room and swipe my fingers beneath lines of text, not your skin creases or birth marks.
“Yeah, of course.”
YOU have taught me to never say no.
We are taking up so much time and I am not learning a thing.
Lips against pillow, YOU mumble on about how smart I am and how I’m going to ace my test the next day. But there’s nothing smart about staying somewhere that makes me uneasy.
The aura of this room, OUR room, has started to hitch rides onto my untied sneakers or backpack key chains. Lying down in my own bed, I stay up thinking about YOU thinking about me in your own room.
Walking into your room is equivalent to walking into your brain.
These walls are the temporal lobe. Tacked up are notes and photo booth strips from old friends. I give YOU notes from time to time, which YOU use as cover up. My words and pictures hang crooked on your wall to brace old smiles.
OUR bed is the parietal lobe. Your hands reach for my shore; your feet kick away my work.
Your desk is the frontal lobe. YOU once told me you can never do work on your bed.
The door is the occipital lobe. YOU love keeping it locked because there’s nothing here to see.
I want to color your walls green to draw in some envy, open the door ajar and look at someone who isn’t YOU, who isn’t as crazy as YOU.
But I don’t. I would never.
The aura followed me to class today.
I know this because your name sits at the top of my page like birds on power lines. It’s ten minutes into class and we are already texting.
“What are you learning in class?”
I’m crossing out the vowels in your name like they are eyes.
“Going over stuff for the exam.”
I am exhausted and nauseous. There’s a kick in my gut. My right knee starts to bob. I grab my pen and start to cross out your name.
I hate your name. Why the fuck did I write it at the top of the page? I hate you.
No. I take that back.
I think I love you. But I love you like I love chocolate.
I don’t really need chocolate, it doesn’t benefit me in anyway; but the thought of living without it makes me upset.
I could go years not eating chocolate. But if I walked into a convenient store and there were no candy bars, cakes or cookies, I’d be so lost.
I could eat chocolate all day long: chocolate for every meal! But after a day, I’d hate chocolate. I’d be so sick of it. But chocolate can never get sick of me. It’ll always be waiting for me, somewhere in a store, on a shelf, wrapped in plastic or shoved into a box, wanting me to fill my void.