I am caught in a time that only I can remember, because this time lives only in my memory, my memory and yours. But your memory is gone, dissolved away as you did, not too long ago. And it wasn’t too long ago, was it, since the last time you reached out for my hand? Not too long ago since we fell, careening into a happiness I never knew could exist.
And then I was frozen. It happened in a millisecond. The air hangs still. You can almost see the frozen molecules clinging to one another, forming a quiet nothingness that preserves you lying there, and me standing here under a megaton of realization waiting to fall upon my head. I am afraid to exhale, to bring me into the next moment that follows this one: the moment in which you are pronounced dead. “Are you sure?” I blinked against the fluorescent lights. “Yes, ma’am. He was dead upon arrival. We’ve tried everything we could for the past half hour. He’s gone.”
I have been holding my breath for the past year and nine months. Sometimes I wonder if anyone notices. I like to pretend that they don’t, that they cannot know the difference between the me going about my business everyday, and the popsicle me inside, dead amongst the living. The core of me lies with you, interred in a cement grave beside a silver urn of your ashes. What are ashes, anyway? Remnants of molecules reconfigured into a desperate preservation of that which was you. But the dead are most finely preserved in memories. Wayward, inconstant memories that deceive and give an approximation of truth, leaving you wholly dissatisfied, frustrated in its evanescence, pissed off in its perversions, angry in its clarity, and ultimately, fiending for more.
I can live with your blue shadow forever, can’t I? There’s no compelling reason for me to join the real world, beyond this comforting subterranean chill. I used to abhor the cold, but now I look for solace in its twilit corners. Swathed in indigo gauze, I am lulled to sleep by whispers and echoes of you.
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