June 24th, 2019


front seat

When I stepped out of the house, it smelled like impending rain. You know the one. That mix of heavy earth, and temporality. The deliciousness of being weighed down. I relaced my Chucks and took a deep breath in. It took courage to be on my way to you, frankly. But when I saw you again, it just felt...

...natural. Not like pulling teeth (like I feared, because dredging up feelings from the past almost always feels like that), or like walking into a lair of self-conscious dread. The moment you leaned over to open the car door from inside felt weirdly like a homecoming. I've seen you do it so many times before. I've smelled it too. Whenever I settle in the passenger seat, the whiff from when you leaned over always lingers around. You still use Wood Sage & Sea Salt. How many bottles has it been since the last one I gifted you? Five? Four, if you don't do that wasteful walk-into-a-perfumed-mist move anymore.

It wasn't so bad, sitting in your car. It felt like the contours of your leather seat has muscle memory, like somehow it still supported my thighs just right, and embraced the shape of my back. Comfort. Your smile looked like you were comfortable too.

You made it feel good. Not that I expected anything else, not that I expected to be held again, or hold you, conversely. It didn't feel like solace. It just felt like meeting you, yet again. The fond tug on my bangs. The scritch of my palm against your undercut. The smell of your nose (do people smell noses like I do?) The expanse of you, when I fold myself into your nooks and crannies and your chest and the part where your shoulder meets your neck. The little stories that would've been incomprehensible over text. The music. The feeling that the city moved around us versus us moving within it. We walked, but it seemed like the streets and lights arranged themselves to look like the night was ours. Yes, this is the vanity of being wrapped up in a moment, together, but it really did feel like that. Meeting you, right down the middle, and finding that the embers never really cooled off.

(...or if they did, that we had the ability to light them up at will.)

I mean. I like the me when I'm with you, always have. It doesn't have to mean anything more, apart from what it meant that day. You just kept nodding yes when I ran off with all those words. And when you hugged me before I got off the car, I could tell that we both felt light. It wasn't an ominous moment.

To marks and all. To sparks that never die, but don't have to be pursued. To our own paths, newly emboldened.

When I got home, it finally rained. Like the heavens held their breath or something. There was no need, though.