018: laura

i’m keeping everything you sent me. i’m keeping it. the lawn darts, that old bowling trophy, and scissors, everything. if you want it back you’ll have to come down here and take it. the corduroy slacks, that giant poster for life cereal, everything. these are my keepsakes now, the remnants of four years lost to long distance. the telephone wires, the cable tv subscription, the four dollars worth of penny candy, all of it, i’m keeping every last bit, even the shoebox full of chipotle receipts. the plastic lemon meringue pie, the sack full of doll hair, the four lemmings floppy disks. i’m going to set them around my house like little museum pieces and invite the neighbors over for tours. i’ll say, “there’s the knitting needles, here’s the tapioca recipe, the dragon pendant, the marbles made out of marble, the paintball gun, the thirty bags of animal rennet.” i’ll charge them five dollars, i’ll make a fortune. because this is all i have left, all of this stuff–the carbon tubes, the graphene squares, the lasagna–this is all i have left of four years of what i considered a blissful state of affairs. i mean, even if you were halfway across the country.

maybe … maybe i enjoyed the fact that you were so far away. it meant i got gifts every week, the toaster oven, the duvet, the tiny oak caskets. i got those every week and didn’t have to worry about the toilet seat lit being up, or the dishes being dirty. the candelabra, the disco dancer costume. when you’d come by for a weekend or a week we would have a blast, we’d do so many things together, we’d have sex and be close, but then you’d leave and i would have the house to myself again and … i’d like it. maybe you liked it too. maybe you liked sending me the baklava, the dinosaur faberge eggs, the toy story figures, the pant suit, the variety of coasters from bars in the southern states. maybe that was your thing. but … i guess not, since you’re done. maybe you liked being away so much that you’ve decided to be away … forever. and that’s okay. i will be fine. i will surround myself with the porcelain teeth, the crocheted sandwiches, the little diorama of a slaughterhouse, the bean bag full of funyuns. i will remember the love letters and the tiny origami cranes, the beef bullion cubes, the nascar stickers. they will remind me that maybe love needs to be … closer. i will miss you, but … i won’t, too, because you were barely here. only these things were here.

on second thought, maybe i’ll just throw them away.

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