Well hello new, you don’t know the first fucking thing about me, do you. No question mark there because I’m not really asking. We both know that much. What I’ve done, what I’ve been through, who I’ve been, how low, how high and why and everywherething in between. I don’t know if you could know, really, because that’s not what new does, not what it’s for, not even when it tries. It does and it doesn’t, is and isn’t. It’s just new, for new’s sake. And I try like a fool to make something of it but new has a way of getting old fast and then I can only ask why.
I should stop there, yes, I know, but I’m nothing if not occasionally mildly measuredly loquacious, the subtle beater of horses near-dead. Just humor me.
You don’t know my depth’s depths, all the crevasses and corners and hiding places for all the shit I don’t think you’ll ever understand because I sure as hell don’t. You don’t know just how sad and bad and strange I can be, and how good, too, and how like and unlike everyone you’ve probably ever had I am. You don’t, of course you don’t, but you’ve cut right in anyway, jumped into a daydream I keep getting stuck with, or maybe it’s one you’ve got me stuck in, and I really and truly don’t think you’d want to be there or have any idea where there is even if I told you and gave you a yellowed parchment cartoon map with all manner of thick dotted black cartoon lines and a big red cartoon X on the spot where my (cartoon) heart lies. If you bade me tell you, though, if you had the ordinary perspicacity to inquire about such a thing, I think the great Why question would have a one-word answer, a whole series of one-word answers, in fact. And it would start with hope.
Ah, hope. Hope is dangerously beautiful or beautifully dangerous or dangerously beautifully dangerous in my hands, so I tend to keep them closed. But you, you got in. I let you, I did, because hope… I mean… hope… I’ve had so little of late I almost forgot how it tasted. And the excitement in your voice, the look in your eyes… What was I supposed to do? And you don’t even have a clue. Why should you?
Just don’t make it worse, that’s all I ask, don’t encourage me, new, don’t let me start thinking this could ever be more than one of our commonest of common associations, all patterns and posturing and defenses and secrets and surfaces of attractions and bad tv themes and prepackaged hallmark sentiment and dumbfuck pop culture rules of quasi-romantic engagement. Don’t do all that stuff you do sometimes, don’t come so close and kiss me that way, don’t breathe on my neck like that, don’t give me that look, don’t say those things, not a one, don’t make those sounds, don’t lean yourself against me, arm hooked in mine, as if you really thought it’s really a link we’ve found.
Don’t you come in here and tell me all the things you want with me for me from me through me, the things you want to do and be and share and have and see and know because you don’t know shit, I’m afraid (sincerely). You don’t know shit but you do have a few lines, a few things you probably actually believe and more than a few ways to look and touch and be and lean and hook. Just for a spell, though, a spell. It works on us all, and here I am, dumb enough to be yet another one. One of us all, spellbound by an experienced spellbinder with nothing but the most rudimentary invocations in her little black leatherbound spellbook with the tassel set between pages tried, time-tested, and tired.
Keep them, then, all your little charms, if that’s all they be. Because if you don’t, I’ll get myself stuck here in a now that’s only my daydream/newdream, which is really quite an olddream, where you show up unannounced on a weeknight like tonight, just like this one when I’m least expecting it and hoping most, going about some weeknight evening business, jotting thoughts down here and there (but mostly here), eating, writing, looking out the window, thinking about the almost-grand and possible and adorably flawed you, wondering what you’re up to, and then there’s a knock at the door and my heart jumps. Did she really? (Wait, how’d she get upstairs? No matter.) She did. Ah, but you didn’t, you never ever did and never ever would because although you’re still new I already know you’d never try and I can’t decide who I hate more, you, new, or hope, for letting me see how good that would feel.
Probably you, senseless and unfair as that is. Because you set this whole thing off and lit it up for me, flammable soul, and now it spreads through me as if my insides were thirsty sagebrush. Your carelessness, my hope. Your spark, my drought. Your fault, blind one you are with the blind lines. But you can’t really be blamed, I guess. I guess I gave you the match. I guess. What else would you do but strike.
Maybe the problem, my problem, with you, with new—your new, that is—is that it’s set, fixed, immutable, as such. You, precisely you, can never change out of new because that’s all you ever are or will be, your apex and perfection. So you move on and around, never lingering, never letting in or letting down, but always letting go with that strange as-if gesture that’s as fabricated as the hints of sentiment that hook me—us, I mean, hook us, hooking me like all the rest before and those surely to come after.
Then I try to imagine you as just you, un-new you, lines and spells and charms expended. And then what. And then this, that’s what. Nothing. And here I am, my usual self by myself, no longer here, but caught again between where, who, and how I’ve been and somewhere out in the great unknown distance, out there beyond the horizon where you can see that thin gray wispy smoke billowing slowly over the senseless plain, out there ignited and engulfed and more perfectly alone than I could ever truly be, here, with you. Maybe that’s why. It’s only a matter of time.