That's how I knew this story would break my heart

I was in pain. I had made the poor choice of wearing impractical shoes and was rewarded with a bad parking space. Each step towards the car was punctuated with an expletive burst of pain in the ball of each foot, and I was grateful.

Every searing exclamation point detoured me into one highly focused, singular stream of thought. I didn't have to think about the tender and sorrowful way you looked at me when I said goodbye. I could ignore the rising lump in my stomach and forget about how I had held you in my arms while you cried silently just a few days before. The pain was enough to distract me from remembering how much I crave tenderness and how little of it I let into my life.

A man on a pay phone asked me how I was. How do you think I am, motherfucker? I didn't answer him. I came very close to going barefoot the last two blocks, but I knew I would start crying on the city street if I didn't have that urgent reminder of my physical self.

It seems that all pain in my life can be distilled into an Aimee Mann lyric. Don't pick on me when one act of kindness could be deathly. If only the sex had been casual. If only you hadn't looked at me when I was naked and told me how beautiful you thought I was. If only you hadn't begged me to let you come again and again and again while I grabbed your hips and buried my face into you.

We said goodbye and I wished you a safe trip home. We both wanted to say more, I could tell you were on the verge of tears too, and I nearly lost it when I told you I'd mail you the mix cd you had asked for after we fucked. You said you wanted to come visit, but I can't expect that. Our lives met for a brief moment and I can't fool myself into thinking that I could be so selfish as to wish for more than that.


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