Erica had been up since early morning and was sprawled out on my bed. I read her her horoscope and thought how much this was what I had always wanted. I always wanted a friend to not have to speak with all the time, to close our eyes in each other’s beds and speak nonsense and not really do anything, but be something nevertheless. My energy in that moment contradicted hers, but even when we aren’t in the same place, we somehow manage to meet in the middle.

The weekend was weird. I spent an anxious afternoon in bed not eating, reading up on unsolved mysteries and UFOs and the Texas Killing Fields and then the world felt broader and beyond here. I was oddly dedicated to pages and pages of meticulous description of the disappearance of a German family in Death Valley. I guess the mystery was partly solved, but the photo of a lone wine bottle in the desert or that empty rental car sunken into the sand gave me a grasp of what reasonable fear feels like, of how defenceless we are as humans, and a deeper feeling that I can’t really explain. Deeper than I usually like to dwell.

Getting over him is like having an itch I can’t scratch. The answer to everything is there in my head, swallowed by how I can’t hate him, I am not allowed to, my friends can’t take sides. And how he calls me beautiful in dingy fast food places and how he lifted me onto the counter and kissed me in the street in the dingy rain. Drunk kisses. Dingy kisses? But, oh my god, they are not dingy, they are far from—they are like clean little envelopes. But what is enclosed is different for both of us.

That night was just me, him, and Holly. Holly, usually affectionately cautious, found us “sweet.”

The situation is stuck, he is stuck. I cannot change those things. The only thing I can change is me. But I don’t know how and I don’t know if I really want to. ♦