I have fallen head-over-heels in love with a little Japanese woman. She smells like Asahi beer and stale cigarettes.
Her name is hard to pronounce so everyone at work calls her "Mama." Her jeans have rhinestones on them and her t-shirts are always black or white, sometimes her nails have glitter on the tips. My first week in Japan I was sick and Mama came knocking at my door.
'Here, this for you!' She handed me a carton of orange juice, a red apple with the skin carefully peeled and cut into tiny slices, and a little packet of white powder that looked suspect.
'What's this stuff?' I asked shaking the powder around. 'You mix in warm water with hot tea drink get rid of sickness! Now back to bed!'
I felt like shit but I obediently mixed the powder into the bottom of a tea cup and poured hot water. It tasted awful but I chased it down with orange juice, ate the apples and went back to bed. The next morning I woke up feeling great. My headache was gone and my nose wasn't running anymore. I showed up for work that day and Mama seemed pleased.
'Here this for you!' she handed me a baggie full of green pills. 'What are these?' I asked shaking the green pills around 'Full of protein and seaweed protein pills for you good you need to eat more!' So I started to take the protein and seaweed pills and by the next week my skin was glowing.
The next week Mama handed me a bagel and a plant. 'Bagel you eat, plant for room!'
The week after that she gave me beautiful blue and white lace curtains. Mama has been so sweet and warm since I got here. Not only as a boss but as a neighbor/ friend of my father's and just an all around sweetheart.
When I grow up I want to be just like her, and that is why I'm in love with her.
Starting to feel nauseous whenever I think of you. There are so many things about your skin I thought were good, but now when I think of your teeth my shoulders just feel heavy and I’m always tired.
Like the time you told me you wish my collarbone stuck out more. Or when you'd tell me you didn't like the freckle above my top lip.
During this particular time we were sleeping together, when we were "in love" I was absolutely adherent to the idea of you always being my best friend. People would say "maybe you just need time apart" but it's been a dozen months a handful of weeks and last night, after a hot bath where I shaved my legs, I came to the conclusion that you were never anything special. You just got there first, And that you were never special, you were just always right. And there isn't anything fucking special about always being right.
I never asked you to coddle me when I was having a bad day. I never begged on my knees when you told me I wasn’t good enough. When I whispered in your ear “Am I the one, do you think I could make you happy forever?” And when you said “I don’t know.” I knew it was over. I could feel it on the walk home.
I was close-hauled on my way to Japan. When the plane took off my heart lept into my throat and I thought “If I die right now the coroner will see my stretch marks.”
I left the last picture you sent me tapped to my bedroom wall. Four walls all painted that ugly pepto pink with the frameless bed and the dirty rug. I left all your songs, all the records, the books the clothes, threw away all the underwear you bought me and set a match to the coalescent idea of “you and I.” The memory box of you and I is more like a tomb that sits on the top shelf in a room I plan on never seeing again.
I made up my mind that from that day forward I would never stop loving you, but that I didn’t like you anymore.
I’ve found the difference in the way you tried to write me emails, detailed and speaking so highly of yourself. Awesome, you’ve finally made it.!
I made up my mind that I would never denounce your last name or pick apart your smile. You were at one point the very first thing that popped into my mind when I woke up. Your hands got me through an entire year of feeling like I wanted to die. The mornings you’d get up before the sun was out, you’d kiss my forehead goodbye and I’d lay in your bed for hours just smelling your comforter because every last bit of you made me feel so warm. I would wash you away from my skin and feel so sad. I wanted to keep every part of you deep into my pores.
I spent the summer sweating you out of my system. I made mistakes and whenever I felt like I missed you I reminded myself that shit changes and learning to love yourself is hard, and thinking you could love anybody else before you reach that point is impossible.