The Old Roliflex
While I remember the old Roliflex that dangled from fragile fingers as I asked permission into an apartment that filled with pictures of ugly formations and ambiguous begins, you quietly shook your head. You hung those pictures, bushing your hair out of your face, you remember. Such little time left, there was, between you and I. I wanted the paranormal, the diseased and strange and you showed them all to me and you showed more. You showed me how dancing in socks and how the wigs you created out of drenched wheat, bleached by the sum and by the razor and the water. ‘Let it seep, take a drink’ and I did as you said, watched her play the cello from outside of your apartment window.
I remember the slow fascination that spiraled from those with deformities and the strange way people sung and how we seemed to tall amongst those with tiny glasses, singing of lives and days we only wished we lived. And when things became strained, and when I took comfort in your presence, you smiled and asked me quiet things in a muted voice, hushed and quiet you asked me things. You asked things that no one would ever ask, just knowing someone, and I knew you. I wanted to love you. But I was quiet. I spoke with you through coded words and you told me the secrets of your past and I loved you. It was tearing my family and my life apart but I loved you. And finally, when I was forced to break it apart, throw you away if I wanted to keep my sanity and my cooperative, monotonous, predictable life, you lured me in. Of whispers of ocean of air and almost blackmail. After all was said and done I shave you of your hindrances and you swam out to sea and I swam with you after a while, returning to shore. Even as the waves washed over me and drowned me time and time again, I thrived in the feeling of it, cherished it, never wanted it to leave. The picture I took of you would never be the same. It aged as you would have, I was given the chance to love you properly.
Originally appeared in the 2010-2011 edition of Outside In.