tides

June Tides

It’s always the Junes bringing life’s tides. It’s the sun’s magnetic manipulation as it pulls the earth closer to its orbit. It tilts matter, and matters, changing perspectives and tangents.

June 4th

That June’s early morning woke up early, in his attic. The sun was already inviting itself through broken blinds, splints of the facade and sharded window glass. Outside, june’s juiciest green grass was glistening adorned with beads of dew, waiting to be flattened by little school kids feet nearby in the schoolyard. I took in the first awake moments of the morning with contentment of being triumphantly alive, always stunned at the fact, wrapped in white goose down comforter from Ikea. It was the only white clean thing there. Everything else was smelling of dust, and neglect, part deliberate damage, tilting drywall, missing hinges, decaying boxes of old frames and vinyl, stained carpet of blood, semen, piss, heroin, and crack, and pot; missing doors, lacking everything as if it was about to be turned into negative shapes any minute and disappear. The night before, he held me in his olive skin arms, tattooed in olive branches, pitch dark hair covered his face, dark eyes adorned with long dark eyelashes made a little grove at the ends, the few hairs on his chest playfully in disarray. Greek music streamed quietly from his mother’s radio downstairs that smelled like dry sheets. He wasn’t coming. I spent the night alone. Downstairs his mother had an unexpected guest overnight doing cocaine all night in the kitchen.

Today I barely remember that morning besides the feeling of being blissfully happy. Days passed by slowly, enveloping me in mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights in an undisturbed cycle. And then.. as morning was changing into noon, it melted in the heat of the day, and became a distant distorted fatamorgana and then settled in a dark shadow that in the coming months seeped into every corner of my soul. I slowly tilted a vertical blind, and saw him finally outside. He wasn’t coming upstairs to kiss his dirty little secret good morning as usual. Instead he was outside taking the entrance stairs off in one sweep… his face having changed into unrecognizable stranger. He never came upstairs that day. It was noon and I was frozen, at times looking outside, only to see him threatening to crash the black Cadillac against the church across the street, at times wrapped in my goose down with my eyes wide shut. Then an hour later I saw him and his mother leaving in the cadillac. I took shower, as if none of this happened. He barged in kicking the door in, loudly, passing me by as if I wasn’t there, then turned back telling me to leave immediately. I said nothing as he drove away, tires screeching on the road..

I decided to leave the house to hide from the 99 degree F heat in a freezer section of a supermarket,  between frozen breakfast foods and the detergents. I sat on the floor, and wanted to stay there as long as possible. Someone came up to ask if I was alright. I was, in that moment, stretching it into infinity. The aisle with home goods felt so normal. It felt more like home, and shoppers like family. I knew I had to go outside into the sweltering heat. I knew I wasn’t going back there. I was going to call ’emergency’ contacts in the coffee shop. As I sat down in the place from the normal past, reality having shifted into the surreal, I heard tires screeching and then he sat down next to me. He was restless, breathing fast, covered with sweat flowing in every crevice and alley of his olive skin, tiniest timber splinters making way down in the rivers of sweat. He said nothing. I said I loved him no matter what. He tried to smile but the normal face I knew was stripped, and it didn’t smile. He got up and left, tires screeching again..

The Party, a month before

Rain droplets trickling down as we sit in his Cadillac on our way to the party at Lindsey’s, his hand squeezing mine, traveling down my thigh. Last night we had sex for the first time, and we knew we couldn’t stop it, ever. I’m in his world. Bliss. In the bathroom he hands me my first joint, and I know once I accept it, I consent to dark adventure, and his control. We leave the bathroom stoned, I sit down, and he’s next to me. We need to leave the party five after midnight, five minutes later I look at my watch, it’s one o’clock.

The Fury

I explained to Lindsey the situation and she was on her way. We needed to take the rest of my stuff from the house.
I entered the house alone, carefully stepping on wobbly stairs. There was no door. It was quiet inside. He got up from bed when he saw me. His hand was swollen, and bloody. I passed him without a word, all of my mirror neurons shut to him, the promise of my ‘no matter what’ gone. His mother was slowly picking a thousand pieces of a hallway mirror strewn on the kitchen floor, one by one. The stairs were blocked by another door out of hinges, I struggled to push them aside, and in that moment I saw him behind me. His eyes dark, his body out of balance, as if taken by this evil force of nature. I felt fear.
He pushed the door out of the way, and followed me upstairs as I tried to run away from him. He asked me if I was leaving, and if I needed help, that he loved me, holding onto the wall to keep himself in balance. I couldn’t squeeze a word out, ignoring him. Everything was a blur, melting in the heat of the afternoon.
I hugged his mother downstairs.

At Lindsey’s cool modern apartment everything was normal. I washed away the sweat, the dirt, and fear. I took a selfie in the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror for a long time, observing my own features carefully, as if I needed to remember this moment of being in here and now.
I saw a different woman.

***

He called me after dark, or I called him, I don’t remember. We had an hour long quiet conversation, during which he said he felt terrible about what had happened. But he didn’t want me to come back. There were no doors or windows left in the house. Or mirrors.

Days later, on June 11th, I knew I loved him.

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