SWORDFERN
Rooted, I used to think.

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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005 @ 6:47 pm
Half-True



That night I went out, brave face forward.

Up the side of the mountain I drove, up up through the misty woods, mansions, lush playing fields. We went to an apartment party, Trivial Pursuit, drinks pushed at me over and over, and I refuse most of them. My stomach is small and closed. From across the room, Chris winks at me, licks his lower lip seductively.

In the kitchen: I am at the sink, drinking water - my attempt at staying grounded, by adding more physical weight to my already dense frame. Chris comes in. He pushes me against the counter, one hand on my ass, one hand on my neck. His lips press against mine, tongue sliding in against my teeth. He tells me I'm hot, that he wants to finish what we started last December one drunken night at the Lynnwood.

Julia walks in. Her face reads What the hell? and I walk out past her. He starts to wash dishes. In the livingroom I stare at the stained beige carpet, shocked stunned angry shaking. Everyone is looking through old yearbooks. Then I push past them and out the door and go sit in the stupid blue van.

I sit with my hands straight on the steering wheel, engine off. They come and sit in the van and talk as though it's my fault, as if I want to go ahead with what he wants. I wished I didn't have to drive those two home.

Finally I'm alone, speeding the highway just past midnight. My phone rings, and it's Tim, drunk out of his mind. I love you so much, I love you, I love you. Baby, you're mine, never forget that.

At first it's strange. I hold back from him. And then one night he picks up his box of sushi and moves from the other side of the booth to the seat beside me. We keep bumping elbows and chopsticks but do not care because it feels so good to be beside each other again - jigsaw puzzle pieces snapped back into place.

In the darkness of the Dolphin, popcorn grease diffusing through the air, the blue vinyl seat sticky on the backs of my knees, he holds my hand. Penguins march across the screen and I secretly cry, and he slides one of his rings on my left hand and holds onto the hand so tightly, kisses my forehead when I look at him. It is half-pretend, I know, but it is also half-true.


Silly Anemone


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