|As Long As It Takes
||[Feb. 14th, 2017|10:42 pm]
Every Valentine's Day my ex-girlfriend leaves a dead bird stuffed with candy hearts on my doorstep that she wraps tenderly in gold painted barbwire. Usually there's a note attached and written in a collage of letters normally reserved for a ransom note she enlightens me to her blessings. How the husband finally got that big promotion at that local publisher. How her daughter was turning out to be quite the budding scientist. Also about how she burns a stack of my social media posts she's printed out in a state of the art grill out on the patio whenever she's been drinking a little too much wine. She ends each letter the same, sans signature with only the phrase - "As long as it takes" - to let me know it was her. |
Last year it was a Red Breasted Nuthatch whose eyes were replaced with two chalk candy hearts reading "I LUV YOU" & "Be Mine" and along with it the note spoke of a lost night between us. We hopped the wall at Oakland Cemetery after she got kicked out of Masquerade for snorting a little blow in the Lady's Room of Hell. She still wanted to dance though and specifically at a graveyard. Oakland would have to do. Lacking music we sang old Sisters of Mercy songs and danced around the graves of the Confederate Dead. Later, beneath a statue of a weeping lion, we fucked on the dirt and beneath me she flipped off the Terminus skyline segueing out of the mausoleum rooftops. Back at our apartment we got drunk and she cried until dawn and asked me how long we had as people who weren't completely boring.
As long as it takes, I promised holding her against me while we watched cartoons on cable TV hotwired through the VCR.
Promise me something though, I whispered to her feeling the warmth of her tears on my chest, promise me you'll never forget me. Remember me as... I dunno... an uncaged bird filled with poems and love but sharp as barbwire. I didn't think much of it. Figured it for the wine and the weed and the post-coital bliss and the no-cocaine jitters and the children that lived upstairs from her getting ready for school.
She raised her face from my chest, her eyes blazed with the reflection of an unknown flame, smeared black lipstick curls into a break-all-hearts smile and she promises. Promises the way the good guy in the movie promises to avenge the death of a friend or true love.
Seven months later we were broken up. She caught me cheating on her with a nasty little Klingon at Con. I hadn't been working as I had gotten fired from a steady customer service gig after a random quality-assurance recording caught me on tape threatening to fist fuck some douche out in Fly-Over Country, USA. The lack of money I was bringing in was just enough to put the financial burden on her secretary gig. Instead of looking for a job I spent my days writing bad poetry and hanging out with an old shipmate. Well, when said ex-shipmate was able to score me a free pass to the Con (just me though not her) I couldn't say no. And feeling drunk and feeling like the real victim I allowed myself to be seduced in the name of intergalactic diplomacy. Don't ask me how but by the time I woke up covered in scratches and regrets my ex had already found out about my indiscretion. When I came back from Con it was to find my shit tossed all down our apartment's hallway. With my shitty credit it was just her name on the lease and that was that. Well except the getting screamed at and slapped and kicked in the balls.
But since then, every Valentine's Day, she shows me that she's kept her promise. That she'll always remember me with wings of flight and magick words.
Happy Valentine's Day, REDACTED... I whisper and stuff the red breasted nuthatch in a plastic grocery bag that I gently dump into the trash.