“You were my ticket out of here”*

by Shana Bulhan

*title is from the song “All I Ever Wanted” by Train
PROMPTShc-bingo: parting waysstayintheroom: “We were together. I forget the rest.” –Walt Whitman
WARNINGS: kink, bloodplay, knives, death play, fire play, suicide threats, abuse, physical abuse, psychosis, murder threats, death, suicide, grit, swearing, cancer, illness

Maybe you forget what it was like after the first seventeen days. Or is it nineteen? Maybe you forget sooner than that. Maybe you forget when all her stuff is out of your apartment. Maybe you forget before that, while you’re still living together. You pass her in the barely-to-speak-of living room, and you think you understand, you think that laughing and talking means something, but really it’s only closer to forgetting. Someday you won’t remember enough of this at all.

“What if I can’t survive on my own?” You asked.

“Then we can never be together.” She said.

There was context. There were other things too. Like. If there were other people, it could be better, she said, but you still need to figure out your issues. There are reasons the polyamorous thing hasn’t worked out enough for either of you. The question was really “What if I can’t survive without you?” If you counted this context, then it made sense. Then there were curtains sweeping down and beautiful gothic makeup and sad songs going on and on and on and fucking on. Then it would mean something, the way she used to touch your hands, the way her nose bumped yours, her eyes looking into yours. It would mean something because it was over.

You would like to say, here, wrapped up in this green blanket, that you won’t forget. But you have already forgotten. You forget what exactly prompted your pushing her off the chair that once. You even forgot that happened until she reminded you. You forget what it was like to be so psychotic that you thought you were going to kill the cat, and she had to comfort you, she had to put all the dangerous things in your uncle’s garage. You forget these things, even as you remember them or are reminded of them, because it is easier to slip through curtains like a ghost. It is easier to become the ghost than to own up to the sky.

You did not kill the cat. You loved the cat. You want to say this over and over, maybe because you loved her, you love her– The cat, her, both of them become wrapped up in a story you don’t know how to tell. What does it mean that the cat died last year of cancer, and you are still alive? What does it mean that you and she are still alive but living separately? That you dreamed up suicide plots and you sashayed about with nooses made of scarves and you wanted someone to pin you to the wall and tighten the noose against your neck, but it couldn’t be her? What would it mean for someone to bring you that close and let you go? Knives to your skin, darling, you want to be in the fire, you have always wanted to be this close to the end. And come back. Always come back. Meet me in the fire, and take me out. Save me, but she can’t. You don’t know how to convey your frustration that there will be no one to find you in the madness.

You forget because there are things waiting to be found at the bottom of the ditches, the gutters, the wells, the ponds. You forget because there is only so much to remember when the play is over. You forget because it wasn’t a play at all.