Tag Archives: relationship

The Flight

“Again, this is sweet, but insane,” Ian says as he rubs his eyes and shifts in the passenger seat. “My company pays for every cab ride I even think about taking, let alone take.”

“This is different,” I say. “Seeing you off out of New York is different.”

“You’re going to see me in eight days.”

“Please just let it be sweet, okay?”

He nods.

I start thinking about what I will miss most about Connecticut, and New York, and living here, and I wonder if what Ian will miss most are the same things. I wonder, as I drive down 95, a particularly ugly stretch of 95 where everything is very gray, where the palette is unwelcoming and dark even in July and the bark on the trees is a harsh brown, what I will fall in love with in London, and if I will even fall in love. I wonder if Ian thinks about these things, and I realize I don’t know.

“What’re you going to do with the house all to yourself for a week?”

“Dance on the tabletop. Invite the high school football team to party. Masturbate.”

“That’s my girl,” he says.

We don’t talk for a long while. Finally, he reaches in to the radio dial and turns up NPR to stave off the silence.

“Shit. This skyline,” he says as soon as we hit the Triboro Bridge. I don’t say anything back. “We’re going to have a real life over there, Rachel. Everything is going to be how it’s supposed to be.”

“This wasn’t real life?” I say, keeping my hands fixed on the wheel, not looking at him. I know he’s turned towards me.

“You and I both know this was no way to live. Any of it,” he says. “Me not being the best husband. And you…”

“And me what, Ian?”

“We’ve just been happier, is all,” he says. “We’ve both been happier without external forces chipping away at us, and we need to move on with our lives. This is us moving on with our lives. We’re doing the right thing.”

I start seeing signs for JFK as we cruise along the Van Wyck, not a speck of traffic in our way today.

“Virgin Atlantic,” he says calmly, pointing towards one of the big sign boards for the terminals. “If you didn’t agree with me in some capacity, you wouldn’t be doing this. But you are.”

Ian reaches down into his lap to adjust the buckle on his belt, even though he doesn’t really do anything with it, just sort of plays with it.

“You tossed and turned a lot last night in your sleep,” I say.

“This is all a big fucking deal, Rachel.”

I stare down into my lap for a second longer than I should.

Six Degrees

one

My eyes traced the lines of her hip bones down like an arrowhead flashing neon to a detour on the highway. She said something about oversized sunglasses but I was distracted by the way her sweatpants hugged the inside of her thighs. I found myself nodding in agreement while noticing the disparity between the accepted norms for male and female traveling clothes. I wondered nearly aloud if she was purposefully displaying her pale freckled midriff for me, conventional wisdom said no, but I like to keep an open mind, at least when it comes to buxom redheads and Amtrak trains.

two

Her hips leaned into me like saplings in a hurricane. She was everything I loved about college in a coctail dress and when we kissed in the back hallway for the first time we agreed that it shouldn’t count since we had already made plans for our first date and the kiss needed to come at the end of the night, but like metal and magnets the attraction was strong and we couldn’t help but do it again.

three

I told her, I don’t love you and it has nothing to do with your virginity. Sometimes people just fit differently. Sometimes they don’t fit together. She’s a thousand piece jigsaw map of innocence, and lately I’ve been stealing puzzle pieces and hiding them under my pillow, wishing she would come to retrieve them. I like the way she looks better when we’re apart, but I smelled her on my sheets this morning and I found myself knocking at her door again.

four

I was an isthmus when she crossed me, connecting two continents through arctic waters, and while time, like tectonics moves slowly, it moves none the less. And now we find ourselves separated by our own continent, yet connected by the earth beneath us. Still plates move in many directions and great shifts have been recorded. Just look at the Himalayas, India was once an island until it crashed into Asia propper like waves on California beaches and now snow capped peaks remind me of Massachusetts winters. If canals can be built then straits can be bridged, and if Dubai taught us anything it’ s that God no longer has the monopoly on creating land. So piece by piece I’m building a way home.

five

We collapse into each other like mirrored bridges, rusted and broken from decades of lonely rain storms. She buckles like steel, soft as goose-down. My knees tremble like a fawn taking first steps. She breathes shallow like puddles, I stare deep like oceans. We connect like power lines, strung transcontinental.

six

Her french toast had too much powdered sugar on it. That’s all I can remember about the meal. I might have had the eggs. The bacon was good, I think. I finally said, “I love you”. She didn’t.