We waste time in each other's company, sometimes saying nothing, laying on the floor listening to music. Finding figures in the plaster of the ceiling. Swapping jokes and cleverness. I make breakfast in the morning, putting life into lines and shelves and pockets, and you make fun of me for listening to n.p.r. and formulating plans I'll never keep. You've always been far cooler than I, getting on by the skin of your teeth sometimes, always with a smile. I am indebted to you, for the easy way you've pushed my mind into rethinking everything. A mental renaissance, electric. It's times like this I know you're amazing. You do your own thing and you don't need me much at all. Sometimes I think you only ask for help to make me feel useful, and help me gain some perspective. I force you to paint the kitchen yellow, and you paint everything else blue. I set up a corner for painting with an easel and a vintage drafting table, and sometimes I come home and you've drawn something, doodled your way into my creative realm. If you don't show me, I don't let myself look.
A lot of the time I feel like there is something you want to say, something you'd like to tell me or ways you'd like to touch me, affection, and you don't. But I know. I just know, and that's all there is. I force myself to touch you, to show you that I love you, I want so desperately to beat the odds...I'm cold and you're timid. I'll spend my lifetime showing you it's ok to love me back.
Some nights you don't come home. I make excuses for it but it tears me up. I pretend to believe every word you say, and once upon a time maybe I would've, but you're the one who taught me: question everything. This disgusting thing happens sometimes, where I hear my voice saying your words, and that's how I know you've gotten up inside of me. You break my heart but you'll never leave me, and I love too hard to let you go.
I know what you say about me. You can't go, you don't have a choice, I'm too nice. You don't want to be another man who fails me. This is just your life now, and that's that. You lay on the tracks, tied down by your own loyalty, and wait for the train to run you over.
But I'll never fucking let it.
I worry I'll grow sallow and old next to you, consumed by my own bitterness in anger that rots me to the core. I don't want to be a person who's children grow to hate her, but that's all we know because that's all we've been shown. I worry I'll grow cynical in your shadow, that as the years pass I open my mouth to make a suggestion but you shout a twisted retort that makes me think twice about ever opening my mouth again. I worry you'll hate me for loving you, for trapping you with things in a time when you were lost, I worry you think it's lucky you'll die before me, because there's nothing left to lose by my side. I worry that someday I'll wonder where the time has gone, that I'll live in the light of better days and try my best to be invisible, so you'll have no excuse but to continue pretending I'm not there, pretending not to see me.