sea monsters/i am haunted

Things do start to take a particularly peculiar turn when you've been out to sea for so long.  The longness becomes longing for the times when you were lonely in the midst of a sea of people you don't recognize any more.  We all go there, we get to that point where we forget how broken we were when we were where we long to be, and we think the way our brokenness feels now cannot be worse, but we forget that time when, just yesterday, we were waiting in the club for the one true love who decided not to come at the last minute.  We've all been in a room in our underwear, and everyone there could see the marks of the last bad thing that happened to us.  Some of us learn to wear these for what they are, warrior marks in a long war.  Some of us just spend the rest of our lives hiding the marks, thinking we would be better off if nobody knew.  Some of us, the most unlucky ones, don't ever realize that we've been scarred.

HE: You remind me of someone.

SHE: We've already covered that by now.

HE: No, not her. I'm not talking about her.  I'm not even thinking about her.

SHE: The one you miss the most.

HE: Right, this is someone else.  You remind me of her, that someone else.  I never told anyone that before.  Because it's never been true before.

SHE: I think it's all entirely perfectly normal that, when you are excavating the bottom of the sea for your favorite ghosts, that you'll deny that the ghost you're resurrecting is the one that you're resurrecting.

HE: Oh, my gosh, you read my mind.  You do that, too?

SHE: All the time.  It's my favorite thing.  I look for the person that I miss the most, and at some point, it's usually sometime around 3 or 4 in the morning, I'll start to see that person very clearly, but the next morning they're always gone.

HE: They're always gone, yes.  How do we make them stay?

SHE: There are those who say that you only make someone stay by seeing them as they are, but no one really knows how to do that.

HE: Because we're all phantoms.

SHE: Yes, we're all phantoms.  We're all a collection of ghosts, our own inherited ghosts, and we also get to play the role of the ghosts the other person misses the most.

HE: So it's impossible.

SHE: Yes, and those who understand that make the best lovers.  Because they know how to be more than one person at a time, and when you're that many people, there's a chance that one of those will stay, and that's how things stay exciting.  Otherwise, love would just be muscles that resist and respond.

HE: I'm already thinking of what you'll look like when you go, what your face will look like when you don't love me any more.

SHE: Are you a witch?

HE: Of course.  That's why I'm making a secret potion to bring you to me, against your will.  You won't be able to resist, only respond.

SHE: That could be the best news I've heard in a very long time.

(They are floating, and we, we are traveling.  In this space, we are setting out for all the places we wanted to be, the places we didn't know we missed.  And this is a canal before a civilization even lived there and knew how to use it, and this is a civilization that we read about but understand that we'll never understand, and this is a city that we do not recognize, and it's unrecognizable enough that we can probably start to call it home.)


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