last night, we sat on the couch, stoned and exhausted. “can i ask you a question?” he nodded. “do you think i’m pretty?”
i thought about what it would mean to be considered beautiful or pretty. i thought about dating someone for five months, and how the only time he ever said anything like that was when i called him, crying on the phone about feeling ugly and alone. he said, “well, that’s ridiculous, because you’re fucking beautiful.” he was drunk in idaho. maybe he had already met the girl he eventually left me for and that’s why it was so easy for him to shrug me off. i thought about dating someone for three weeks, and the first time we had sex. he laid in bed as i crawled on top of him and pulled my shirt off over my head. he held me still to say, “you’re really fucking gorgeous, you know that?” and it was one of those moments. like a bucket of ice water thrown in my face. asking myself—are we exactly as invisible as we feel?
words like beautiful or pretty don’t mean what they actually mean most of the time. it feels more like, “i see you” or “i recognize that you are alive and radiant with warmth and spirit”
i asked him if he’d ever lived anywhere besides california.
i thought about how i could measure and traverse miles and whether or not anything is really very far from me. i thought about how far away you feel, and if you will ever be close enough to really see me.
he asked me if i wanted to go to bed.
in my dream, i looked out to the ocean and talked to someone i couldn’t see. “i miss you, and you should be here with me.” i still don’t know who it was.
this morning, i woke up to a message from you. it read, “when i dream of you, it always begins the same way.”