Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I drove R. to the Buffalo airport in the early morning. No "I love you", no hugs, kisses or tearful goodbyes. I told him I'd pick him up in a few days. He trudged away, looking morose, vanquished; ill. Still, I felt nothing. The world, or at least what was within my grasp, looked different. Black and white. Every object fell below shadows and faded hues. The sun was covered by clouds. I drove back to what was now his apartment, kicking my shoes off at the door and flopping onto my couch.

844 80th Street, apartment #3: The ruins of my coward's "love".

His, mine; suddenly everything had a label. I would use this time to plan my escape. What would I take; and did I have the heart to take anything at all? I began mentally calculating what I felt belonged to me and what of my belongings felt indebted to R. My washer and dryer became his, but I would take my new sofa. He could keep my dishes, old sofa and love seat; the record console I'd refurbished, after all, he bought the parts. I'd take my records but leave the ones we'd bought together. My books were mine, but he could keep old cd's. I'd take my fair share of the nicer antiques, leaving behind a large number of small pieces I'd grown to love. The DVD's were his, as were the television and electronics. In the end, I didn't take much. I didn't want much.

He had been gone one day and I hadn't heard from you in over a month. I took nightly phone calls from Boston, who would continue to plea for my aproval of a visit. "Just give me the word. I'll be on a plane tonight." 27 years old, he bore a shocking resemblance to a young Robert Oppenheimer. R hadn't been gone two days when I broke. I told him to do "as he wishes" and go no further than he can be held "personally accountable for". On April 11th, at 9:00PM, I was waiting for Boston at the Buffalo airport.

His plane would arrive at 11:00PM, two hours behind schedule. I was walking to my car, prepared to drive home alone and believing that I may have written myself into some alternate universe when he called to tell me he had landed. We met on the second floor of a two-story parking structure. He was tall and narrow, his arms were foolishly long. In the freezing rain, and with the sound of airplanes skidding into port he threw his foolish arms around me. I drove us home quietly, through the rain.

When we arrived in "my" parking lot it was raining hard. I felt feral as I jumped in freezing puddles, running for the door of an apartment that I could no longer call my own.

Boston and I spent the next three days behind closed doors.

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