Nearly 3 years ago I had someone who was a friend and then suddenly she wasn’t. I ran into that person today after not seeing her for all this time, and we said hello as we passed but otherwise ignored each other. I’m not pleased to have seen her – that event was out of my mind and now I’m saddened by it all over again.
This encounter reminded me that the last poem I ever wrote, back when I still had creativity, was about her:
After a long, hard day toiling for insufficient pay, I often wend my way
to the mini-fridge for some rum, coconut-tinged.
One finger poured and covered, smothered
with a fist of cream soda – vanilla smooth and not-too-bubbly –
the poison I pick to have a little fun, feel a little numb.
This day was longer, harder; losing you is a bitter pill,
tough to wash down – can’t rinse the taste of you out of my mouth.
Trash the rum, I need an upgrade – a splash or five of vodka
improves Sunkist sparkling lemonade.
A shot of raspberri is absolutely what I need
and I get overeager pouring the key to being freed
from thinking of, dreaming of, sobbing for, aching for
Singing off-key, dancing clumsily, suddenly it’s crazy funny
how you ripped my heart out, stomped on it to the beat of Ke$ha
like I’m dancing – or flailing – to now.
I tipsy-tripsy back to the bottle until
I’m topsy-turvy, swerving between hilarity and despair.
Chuckling until I’m choking on the absurd excuses
you find uses for – vacation time unneeded
for long weekends untakeable, all leading to my shakeable
foundation cracking – ever-breakable.
Washing over my tongue is all the proof I need
that I’m as plastered in my body as you are in my mind.
I’m way past warm and fuzzy and tingling,
now I’m wobbling on jelly legs, propping up the walls
so they won’t fall when the world starts spinning.
Already smashed, I drain the bottle and there’s glass crashing, shattering,
slipped through my fumbling fingers as you
slipped out of my life.
I should be lesson-learning, growing, finding that I’m subconsciously knowing
this needs to end – cold-turkey like our friendship.
Instead, as my hammered head is pounding,
my back stooped in my drunken stupor,
I drift into the fantasy of fleeing from your bullshit reasons:
I’d be heading north, seeking solace
from an ever-true, opposite-of-you friend.
She’d be pouring me a drink before my toes ever cleared the threshold,
not knowing I’d already be sloshed from stopping
to bar-hop my trip from 6 ½ hours up to 9.
As she’d turn to rinse the glasses from our shots of limoncello,
I’d down the bottle.
Mementos of your lemons 2 lemonade stand are the only means
for me to forget you.
Eyelids of heavy metal crashing,
fading my view to total blackness,
thank booze you’ve been erased from the back of them.