The Mistrusted Heart

we used to trust each other.

do you remember?

trust isn’t what they say it is.  something aware, this person you make a choice over, this precious stone you look at in your window, acknowledge, appreciate.  that’s not trust.

when you trusted me, you barely knew me.  we were practically brothers, closer even, so implicit was your trust, you never gave me a second thought.  hot, cold, dizzy, awake, easy, we never looked at each other.

we didn’t need to.

we used to trust each other like that.

you didn’t think, he might fail me.  i mean, you knew i would, in the way we know the sun will implode.  like i will, like all of us, the things you trust will implode on themselves.  still, we aren’t that bad.   you’ve just forgotten.

i can still take you places.  i took you to so many before you forgot.  you placed at state because of me, first in 200 meter backstroke.  you climbed a goddamn mountain because of me, how many fucking feet?  you fell in love, because i gave you the blood to do it.

you thought you were dying because of me.  you didn’t die, may i remind you, i got you through even that.  but am i appreciated?

we were lying down the other day like we used to.  you were giving off heat like an oven, and you almost put your hand on me, wanting to press against me, the first time you’ve touched me in how long.  i felt nervous with it hovering over me, like it might swat me, or reassure me, and i thought, maybe this time.  but you pulled away.  couldn’t touch me.

my work used to be taken for granted, in the best way.  now i’m a disappointment?  i feel you watch my every move, and doubt.  you’re terrified of me, like a hag in a sleeping bag on the sidewalk.  you think that’s not disappointing?

jesus, i’m not even that old.

did I miss a beat?  how can i know? i do a lot of them a day.  it’s a big job.  one misstep, things crumble.  do you realize how much worse others have it?  you want to know what real failure looks like?

we used to trust each other, but i can’t breathe anymore.  how far can this go?  a doctor, another doctor, another, probing and scanning and probing.  i’ve never even paid this much attention to myself, and now that i’ve seen it? it’s enough to drive me insane.

and still, after everyone says such nice things, that we’ll be fine, that we’ve got something solid, you don’t trust them.  you don’t trust me.  you’ve never paid so much attention, and i’ve never felt like i know you less.

check again.  they check again.  you press down on me, all resentment, and wait, thinking, any moment now, he’ll shut down any moment now.  these ridiculous theories, out of the blue one bad day.

i don’t want to alarm you but. i’m just getting flustered, and i can’t work like this.  i feel like i’ve slipped, lost my touch.  i miss one beat and hate myself for it days on end.  i make it through all manners of punishment – i used to feel proud of that.  now, i don’t know.

it’s amazing, what a lack of confidence can do to you.  i try not to, but. i have my own theories.

you’re looking for love anywhere else but me.

because i failed you.

no, i get it.  these other doctors and that sad group with foldout chairs and testimonials, they offer something i can’t give.  what is it? say what it is, i’ll be it.  say what it is, and i’ll say, go fuck yourself, you’re being unrealistic.

forget about them.  forget about your crusade, your fear, your theories.

just lie here.  with me. we haven’t done just that in so long.

don’t talk.

stop moving.

remember, lying on the bunk bed in that lake house, half asleep in the afternoon?  we were both so exhausted, and young, and i heard you say, just awake, that we should live this way forever.  i think you might have slept for days.  i knew the feeling then.  i should have spoken up, made a promise or, i don’t know.  it sounds dumb now, but i could have told you

things will change.

it will be harder.

the way i feel to you, i won’t stop, but i won’t always be this warm.  i’ll get stressed, toxic, disoriented.  just be ready.  and remind yourself, what life would be without me.

life would be nothing.  you’re not so sure?

i’m sure.

that afternoon by the lake, you can feel that any time.  because i’m with you, and we will go down together.  don’t think you can replace me, you don’t know the consequences.  i’m here for you now. enjoy that.

we can get it back.  it’s easy, just forget about me.  if I fail, you may or may not even know. what’s there to be frightened of?

i could even feel good again, i know it, if trust was there.  i could make life good for you again.  just let me slide to the backdrop, fade to red, smooth the gears below,

and the relationship will blossom, stronger than ever.  i know, i know it, we could be so happy,

if we wanted to be.




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