It's never a good sign when I wake up still spinning. When my eyelashes barely separate enough for me to see anything because my glammed- up mascara from last night is still caked on and the sparkles from my eyelids have fallen into the pooled corners of my puffy tear ducts. And, when I finally do see something, ugh. Three variously full bottles of beer on my cute bedside table, which is entirely too quaint to have un-coastered bottles of beer on it. So, that morning I rolled over, shirtless, and groaned because "I really should have just thrown up last night."
What's was an even worse sign? It was New Year's Day. Nice. Happy "Monumental Rest of My Life Day" to me. I thought, "I'll re-assign this occasion to my birthday this year." Everything seems better in July than it does in January anyhow. "But, wait, it's Thirty this year. Scratch that."
I looked around, as well as I could considering that my frizzed and nappy head was pounding. Where was he? Out for a cigarette? No, the silver case and lighter lay neatly on the desk. In the shower? There was no splattering sound of lukewarm water. I laid back down. Confused and more than likely, still drunk. I closed my once-beautifully made-up eyes and they were thankful for the dark cover. I shivered and suddenly felt as though I would die without his arms. Disgusted, I caught myself wallowing in that that mire of shitty, sappy sentimentality and nearly threw up on my pillow.
There was a faint rustling in the next room. I squirmed and attempted to peel the twisted sheets from my mess of a body. I did and then teetered noiselessly towards the next room. He was there, dressed and i could smell in the air that he had showered. His back to me, he stood over two ominous, gaping suitcases and a pile of mismatched clothes. Then, it all came back to me in a rush of tears and alcohol and wavering words. He was leaving. He turned around to tell me that I was beautiful but I was already crying and puking all over the floor. Beautiful.
When I woke up I could feel that I was warm and clean. I smelled like flowery shampoo and his soft tee shirt was draped over my small frame. My eyes opened easily this time and my head felt light and clear. He sat there quietly, just looking at me with a gentle glimmer in his green eyes. He saw that I was awake, and smiled his gorgeous smile. Brushing the hair from my forehead, he kissed me the way a proud groom kisses his glowing bride- unabashed and tender. “Happy New Year, beautiful.”
I smiled without laughing, without makeup, and without reservation. I wanted to tell him that I loved him. That he had just saved me. Again. I wanted to say thank you. I wanted him to kiss me again. I wanted him to stay there on my bed forever, staring into my eyes through his comforting green halos. But I said nothing while one teardrop tore away from my brimming eyes and slipped down its salty slide to my shoulder. He kissed away the wet streak it left on my cheek and told me that he would always love me. And before I could allow another tear to escape, he did. He was suddenly through the door and I was in his powdery white tee shirt- a small, heartbroken lump of feathers on the bed.
Walking past my mailbox the next morning there was a morning dove sitting on the rust of my porch railing. It only had one foot. Its balance was impeccable. It wavered just a little when I got closer to inspect its stump. “You okay buddy?” I asked. Without warning, it flew with a coo into the air. Completely gracefully. If I ever lose a foot I can only hope to move that elegantly. It had returned to the same rusty landing when I returned home later that day. This time it just tilted its head as I crept closer. I was pleased that I was allowed such proximity. Closer still. I raised my hand to do god knows what- pet it? Suddenly, its wings arched and it leaned to one side and spiraled to its death in a pile of snow. A lump of feathers in the powdery death.