The first time I paid attention she was topless and dancing to a tape she’d brought from home. It was a beautiful song that described who we were and who’d we become, but I was entirely hers in the moment. One line made it through, though “Most of you was naked, ah, but some of you was light”. She left the tape and I listened to it until I wanted to be old and filled with a regret that ached and emptied me until there was nothing left but a few perfect sentences. I wanted to be tired and wise and have good things fall from my hands in beautiful patterns.
I know you really loved me.
but, you see, my hands were tied.
I know it must have hurt you,
it must have hurt your pride
to have to stand beneath my window
with your bugle and your drum,
and me I’m up there waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
I managed the harm and regret but held onto good things in awful, ordinary ways. Twenty years later, I am wiser and tired and have managed a few passable sentences. I confused the damage for the art, but damn if both didn’t stay with me. Twenty years later and I can just now hear the confession, the admission of villainy mid-seduction, and the apology. They don’t write songs like this anymore. Goodbye, Leonard.