The Other Lovers

“I have already impressed all the people that were worth impressing.” I’m sitting in this bar in the company of some man who for some reason wants a piece of me. I realize that words rolling out of my mouth are unbelievably cocky, but that doesn’t stop me. Nothing can stop me.

I shrug my shoulders and eventually walk away because this man in this bar is not the right now that I want. None of them have been the right now that I want, which is why I constantly find myself in this situation: always searching. Always wanting.

I fixate on a heart break because sometimes that’s the only thing that I have to hang onto. I am standing in the bathroom, dabbing on make up, while he sits on the toilet, and we talk like old friends. We are both broken beasts who have clawed their way together, and we moan over our lost loves mere moments after loving each other. We don’t seem to mind.

What does it mean to love someone who only loves you for the person that you could be and not the animal you are?

“He loved me, but he didn’t like me.” He stands up and hugs me and kisses me on the mouth. “Me, too,” he murmurs, and as we stand naked in the bathroom, I wonder: are we really our true selves with each other? Or is this a momentary lapse before we return to being the people that we aren’t because someone we love told us that it was the only way we are worthy of being loved? Are only monsters for a moment before running back home again, full of guilt and despair?

We crawl back to bed and listen to sad songs, and I cry softly for the first time in a long time because this song reminds me: I had lost a friend. I have chosen to be this person in this place, and because of this indulgence I have lost the friend who was supposed to be the love of my life. I am wet on his pillows as I think about that someone else, which is okay, but why does it hurt to just be me.

Because when I am me, I am always discarded. Which is why I am here, because this is the only place I can come to, where I can be myself, and I won’t be thrown away because of the soot and lies inside me. My little demons come trotting out, looking lovely in my skin and filling me with sin, and here that is an okay thing to do. I let my little demons run feral in this room, where they are free, just for now, before packing them back up inside me and hiding them from the world.

I walk back out through the rain, where I parade around, pretending to want to be the person that the world is telling me I should be. I go to my job, I am nice to my friends, I ride the bus downtown and buy groceries. I try to be the human that I’m not really sure I am, and I hope that one day someone will love me for at least trying, even though I will eventually be failing.

And these demons inside me are scratching there way out, and some day soon I will bleed out this devil, with my skin unfurled, and the truth like a puddle spilled on the ground and swept away down the gutter where it will dissolve and disappear like your memories of me.

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