By Lisa Buscani
When we started, I was thin. My face was a diamond, all clean walls. I was weightless but I had control, like astronauts after they learn to swim properly in space.
Our conversations used to overlap and dovetail and interweave and occasionally we’d stop to breathe. When we made love, we knew how to forget ourselves. That, I’m convinced, is passion; to kiss him so hard and hold him so hard that the act itself is forgotten and all that is remembered is skin and hair and warmth, that’s a gift. That’s something that we kept for a long, long time.
The decline has been relatively slow. Every time we fight I take the opportunity to shift the relationship from one shoulder to another, just to give myself a break and better balance. I have carried us for a long time. He could say that too, I suppose.
I started gaining weight and that has seemed to be the theme of it. It has become harder and harder to get down to the bone; the way we’re put together escapes me. When we make love, we know exactly where we are and what’s going on. It is one of those great sadnesses, that you carry in your throat.
I can’t quit it because this was once so easy. On the morning of the first night he stayed with me, I woke up, looked at him and found home.
I can’t quit it because I’ve been alone much of my life. To be alone again means an energy my aging has confiscated. And even though I’m still alone with him, the future is a crumb of consolation.
I can’t quit it because that doesn’t fit the only picture I have of love. My parents know the necessary work of love, they’re the model here. If they can work dogged for their heart, so can I.
I can’t quit it because of winter. I can’t stand to sleep alone in the cold.
And tonight, we are spending quality time together and his smile is less than honest and I’m thinking well, then, this is it. I say I’ve been working far too hard for far too long.
I want him to fight it, to go over and over those same points, to make or lose no ground, to keep our memories and futures intact; if not entirely truthful. I am disappointed to see how light he is, smiling, so ready to fly. I feel light too but it’s the way you feel before you catch a cold, all unfocused and fuzzy. And the chill comes from inside.