Monday, August 13, 2007

Impossible Distances

It was a simple case of misunderstanding. She thought he loved her. He said he loved her. But that was not what he meant. Or so he tried to explain. Explain. Could one really explain a kiss? A body pressed against another body? The rush that began in the stomach and traveled down until one's toes curled in anticipation? He wanted to make those things disappear in words. He wanted to drown them out. Pummel the feelings into dust.

But she remembered. She was on the bed, her hair spread out around her pillow, framing her, and he was above her. She remembered the way his eyes did not flinch from hers. She could feel his weight on her legs but he held himself up and away from her. That impossible distance between their two bodies was insurmountable. She could not lift herself to bridge that gap. He had to come to her. She would make him bend down to her. And with a sigh, soft and hoarse, he lowered his body onto hers, and kissed her. His lips were soft, his breath minty, tasting of toothpaste. He was pushed his hips into her groin, and she arched to meet him. But then he pulled away.

And now he told her that early declarations of love were misunderstood. He loved her, he explained as a friend, as a best friend, almost like a sister but closer than that. Words, useless stupid words came down, and needled her skin. She could still feel him over her, his mouth so soft it was almost weak against her teeth. He talked more and more but all she heard was the rejection. He would take that kiss away from her. He would swallow back into his own body but she refused to give up. It was hers to tuck away into the hidden part of herself.

What it comes down to, he said, is that I'm just not that attracted to you physically. I wish I was. I hate that I just can't feel that way for you.

Liar she thought. I felt how hard your dick got when it pressed into my body. Liar, she cried to herself, I know the feel of desire on lips.

Liar, she whispered the words turned onto herself, your body is gross and wrong and misshapen. You are ugly and smart. All men will love your mind and they will hate your body. Your body is the rotten vessel to something beautiful inside. Something beautiful housed in something vile. And with these dangerous whispers, it felt like something hollow imploded inside her chest.

They lay on the bed. She, blinking hard to keep the tears away. He shamed both by his desire for this ugly girl, and by his rejection of such desire. This time no one walked across those endless waters of such an impossible distance.


Lolabola said...

see now here's great memory to work with. I have a similar memory and see that over time it's the emotions behind parts of it that keep the story alive. And you know how at a certain point, some memories play over and over in your mind, like you're trying to fix them in there. and just when you think you've got it, some little contradictory detail pops up and you either push it away quickly before it takes hold, or you are trapped by it and the memory-making must start all over (and rather chaotically it seems).

The thing is I think there are literally millions of little contradictory details and if I didn't filter them, this would be exhausting.

I also think there are millions of parallel lives and possibilities streaming out from that same memory and thought of putting all those possibilities together with all the little details I choose not to focus on is overwhelming.

So I have to see my personal history as a construction of my own and I think I can use that as something to further my present fiction. Or not. Maybe I waffle between using it and rejecting it altogether.

I just can't see 'history', personal or otherwise, as anything related to the terms concrete or factual anymore.

but I like how you told this one. When I tell things like this, or try to write them, they spin off into a million things and I get completely lost before I can finish them.

Horacio said...

The same distance exists between fact and fiction, insurmountable, impossible to breach and yet inexplicably intertwined, inseparable.

among bodies and people, only love dissipates these distances and that's why love is a magic word: it makes distances dissapear.

Ginger said...

This story is mostly fiction. It arose from something that actually happened or perhaps better explained as words actually said. But it is perhaps a piece of what could have of those parallel lives running out from this life I think I remember.

This story has been written twice. The first time, right after it happened. And then I couldn't bear to think about it. It hurt too much. Over the years, through new loves, and all the all important big love to H, the pain has faded enought that I can think about happened but there is a still deep hurt there. A hurt deep enough that I have to veil the incident in ever more fiction.

And yes H I agree that fiction and nonfiction are impossible distances. I didn't even think of that when I choose the title. And love...well love can if both people feel it...but it also creates those impossible distance.

Jon said...

Real or unreal this strikes a chord (ow, and yes). I think I have many virtual memories like this, or almost virtual (are they memories if they're virtual?).

I really like the idea of taking back a kiss; impossible but imaginable.


Ginger said...

You know Jon, this really started with the idea that you could take back a kiss...Brenda has written some poems that really inspired that idea.

One thing that has made this less painful for me is the realization that there are many kisses I wish I could have taken back. And times when I knew someone that I loved but just could not be with them physically. We all have such lines, but it's hard to remember that in the heat of the moment.