How I Miss the World

Blood stain on gauze pad

The world seems to say to me: it’s all right here; welcome; we’ve been expecting you. Time seems to stand still; the world falls away, but the dream ends and I am alone as the raindrops of right now fall and wake me from this discordant interlude. It’s cold, it’s night, bright lights, cars humming and coughing, no stars: I miss you. I miss you so much as I turn to ask whether you’d like cream or sugar. After sipping and chatter, we walk away in the same direction: you leave the cafĂ©, and I leave everything. Not on the table with the empty cups, not in the fluffy abyss of empty promises, but I leave it all right there, all around me, as I bend over to inspect the strange, tiny, colorful thing at my feet. It is a dream, and it flies away; I run after it. It flies faster; I run faster, and here we are in your apartment, the television is already on, and hot water already almost boiling. I miss the sun and its warmth. I miss Saturday mornings. I miss the mountains I have never seen and celebrities I don’t really want to know. I missed the story; you’re explaining it to me, but I wish you would shut up and leave. And that’s when I forget you live here, not me, I forget I am a guest, I forget until you’re forgotten, the tiny speck of wonder appearing on your woolen sweater’s sleeve. It’s not moving, but I don’t want to look closer; I don’t want to ruin this moment. But I do, I beg off, wonder entangled inside my divided mind as if it were made of threads of wool itself. At the bottom of the stairs, I realize it’s me, the thing I miss most. It feels sad, and in its own way, it makes itself true: when I’m looking closer, how I miss the world. When I’m looking closer, how the world recedes, again and again.

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