Sitting in the car, I tried to memorize his face. Not because I thought it would be the last time I would see it, but because it was probably the last time it would be okay for me to look as long as I liked, to have the hunger in my eyes that is the special permission of the lovers category, rather than the friends one.
I tried to take in the lines. The shape of his jaw, strong and masculine, the kind that could cuts heart as it breaks them, if he were that kind of person. The gravity around his mouth and brow, where the world has pulled against him, simply by being and living and feeling the joys and pains of life.
I looked at his facial hair, the bittersweet way it made my face so angry, yet I loved the look of it. I also tried to remember the last time I’d seen him clean-shaven, since it was weeks ago, and I didn’t realize at the time that it would probably be the last time. That happens a lot, where things become lasts long after they occur, and my memory struggles to cling to them too.
I created the strongest memories I could of his smile, and his eyes, looking back at me, mirroring my face as it drank in his. I was trying my hardest to create a file in my memory, categorized under the Ss, for Sigh, Another Missed Shot at Greatness.
I kissed him, and got out of the car half in the defensive daze that my heart puts me in to prevent me really feeling the weight of my actions. I waved, went in my building, unlocked the door to my flat, and wrote the words that pulled me ever so slightly out of the present that is now my past as I sat there in the car with him.
The curse of the writer is that the inspiration strikes at the one moment I need to be present. At the same time, the blessing of the writer is that I can have this record of it, the shadow of the memory, there to guide me when my mind goes, my eyes dim, my face wears more lines and gravity than I can ever imagine, and I want to look back again. I have a small moment, captured in a few unsatisfactory words, but mine, my own, as much as my hand on his face, tracing and imprinting so that I have something to fall asleep with tonight, since it’s not him that will be next to me anymore.
Write what you know.