Friday, July 29, 2011

Term of Affection

Why did you call me chérie?

Was it because my situation became very real to you after that cold day in July, the one I knew was coming but nobody listened to me? No, what did I know, just a twit with an attitude who'd been to the rodeo once or twice before. Did it become hard to ignore after that day, so you used pronouns you probably shouldn't have, lumping you and me into a singular category where one of us really doesn't belong? Was it the realization that I am running out of time, and you are, therefore, running out of time to make any of this happen, make any of this work? Did you say it because you're lonely? Because I'm lonely? And if we let ourselves, we could help each other, but getting to that point is going to be tricky. It requires crossing a chasm we've never dared to face, one so deep that if we fall, we won't make it back out. One that could ruin all we've worked to establish. Loneliness is making my sorry heart bleed.

Why do you call me chérie?

Is it because your demeanor was different, non-challant, casual, cordial? Were you covering up for something you didn't say, or did actually speak out loud? Is it your way of letting me down gently so the mess can be avoided, heading me off at the pass before I plummet into dangerous tides? Are you worried about my eternity, because I seem so clean and free and void of sin, with the innocence of youth and the grandeur of an unknown future? Are you afraid you'll soil me, take away what you think I possess when you're not really sure if I do, or that you don't? Convictions do not run cold in me. I am stronger than I look, more brutal than one might think. I do not delight in folly, nor do I allow emotion to dictate my thought.

Did you use that word as a term of affection? Were you attempting to show what I cannot see? Was the repeat usage a reaffirmation or a redundancy, something you forgot had escaped your lips just days before? I fear the first time may have been a mistake, as your behavior afterword would suggest, but the second time has yet to tell, I don't know what to make of it. You seemed so natural, so at home in the word, in the loaded meaning that could continue from dusk till dawn, only in the dark of night, ribbons of idiosyncrasy, looking at the moon, gazing at the stars, with a memory foam arm and tired, tired eyes.

It was a term of affection, otherwise it wouldn't have been uttered twice. But the mystery lies in the context. Therein is the real question. If I could go back to when we were sixteen and make myself notice you, would things be different now?

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