Here's another excerpt from what I have written. It's about Anna, my first...well, my first everything. Comments and criticism are welcome. Again, this is part of a memoir I have written, and it's coming in pieces, and out of order. I'm just trying to get my feet wet, and see how I feel about putting this out there.
I only once had a nightmare in her arms, and it was the last time we were together that year. Perhaps my pain could sense this. My pain was afraid of her, I think, because she was not afraid of it. I opened my eyes to her, and I let her see it. I made no sounds, no attempts to explain, I merely peeled away the layers of myself and let her curl up inside. She was no stranger to pain; pain had taught her many things too, I could tell.
The night before she was leaving, she knocked on my door in the early morning hours. Knowing that it must be her, I fell clumsily out of bed. I opened the interior door (my roommate was not home, and I had come not to expect her), and saw the light of the hallway peeking under the exterior door. I could not see the shadow of her feet. I opened the door, and without looking to see if it was her, turned and walked back into my room, peeled of my t-shirt, and climbed into bed. She peeled off her outer layers, and slid under the covers with me, pushing the heavy blanket to the bottom of the bed.
We held each other for a long time, saying nothing. There was nothing to say. We had no delusions about the world and the way things worked. I wasn’t even my whole self yet, and could not hope that our pieces would actually fit together once I was formed. Such hopes are unrealistic. I am a member of the realist party. We made love, and it was more intentional, more intimate than ever before. Her teeth ripped at my skin as though she was trying to take a piece of it with her. The pain was a deliberate pleasure that I welcomed, and reciprocated. As I kissed her, she passed into me, and I into her, and she shuddered. Knowing is a reciprocal affair.
I don’t remember the nightmare, so I don’t know how bad it was, only that when I started she was already awake, and pulled me tightly to her with one arm. I struggled for a moment out of confusion, but then I smelled her and felt her, and my breathing calmed. After a while, she pressed her lips to the back of my neck and routed her other arm in between my head and shoulder, engulfing me in her skin. Her left hand came to rest on breast, and my heart fluttered a bit. I think she felt it. “I’m here,” she said softly. She was, there on my chest, in my chest, as she would always be.
The next morning she fell out of bed, still drunk from our night, and pulled on her layers. I rolled over, and I opened my eyes, but did not stir any further. She came close then, and, stroking my wild hair, looked at me, into me, and said, “I love you.”
“I love you too, “ I said, believing her instantly. We kissed, and she was gone.
I saw her once, the following year, when she came back to visit, but we hadn’t spoken much in between. I was broken up with my “boyfriend” at the time, and we made love again in the effortless way we always did. When she left, I knew I would not see her again.
I don’t know if she was ever real now, as she no longer exists in the world. In the age of technology, her name is nowhere, her likeness without an eternal electronic address, and so I find myself wondering if the way I remember her in my mind is the way that she is. If she even is, or ever was, Anna. She will always exist for me, though, as an awakening. She explained many things and helped build many pieces of me. I love you.
Peace and Love and Bugs Named Doug,