Once upon a time..
That phrase puts such a premise on our lips – a demand that the story not only be good, but complete. How do you know when your story is complete? I suppose you need a beginning, a middle, and an end. The trouble is that I drink and I sometimes confuse the three. Our ending was your beginning, your middle was my ending, and we began and ended too many times to count, more times than we returned the empties together on cold spring days.
My beginning began far before yours and ours. My beginning did not involve you. My beginning started the second I picked up that damned guitar, that little baby I cradled so close and held so far away from the thought of anybody hearing to play, but hey – the house was filled with strangers and I was drunk, so drunk, and somebody dared me with the phrasing in their voice to get out of my shell and so I recall that moment I stood up and the first chord I struck was not within you, but within a vagabond who would come to live on my floor, and whose heart I could call a home temporarily. He was not enough. You were not enough. For now though, he would do.
Unfortunately as I always do, I got bored and I started digging for shiny objects in nests long left abandoned and I found you touching my toes with your own while we sorted through shiny pennies and delicately rolled them in an attempt to get more inspiration juice – beer, wine, spirits; your soul and toes touched my toes and I breathed in shattering illusions. I knew then that this artist boy who captured purple faeries in bottles had no hold on me, but I like to play games.
This is where the real beginning begins.
You kissed me. You kissed me and I was dizzy, spin-drunk dizzy, wasted dizzy, in-love dizzy from that very moment. Together that night you and I met at the end of the driveway and ran away for a few hours together and together we ascended stairs that met stars and that I believe conjoined to birth a Thalidomide-infant that I named Heaven on that night, and on that night under the stars, you kissed me.
The middle consisted of booze and guitars and dozens of half-written songs that I could never sing. The middle ended one night when I was not home and you phoned me at four and said that you were coming over. I imagined you touching my possessions and possessing parts of me. Kissing the orange lights I bathed in. Tasting the leftover CD I'd forgotten in the player. Drinking sips of beer you'd left to stagnate on my burial ground of wine bottles, a kitchen counter long lost and neglected, dying civilizations burning out the ashes of cigarette butts and chocolate cigars. Stroking your chocolate hands and guitar callouses upon the blankets we made love underneath. Feeling these little parts of you, within me. This is where we ended.
Not the day that you jumped on your mode of transport and kissed goodbye a blue sky and felt the sun's wind warm you from within. Not the day before, filled with burnt cities and spoken farewells. Not the weekend before when I felt your warmth for the last time and huddled up in a city of blankets and smelled chocolate, really smelled chocolate, for the last time in my life. Not the day that I retired my guitar and ceremoniously burned pieces of paper and words that I wanted to gift to you in a garden that I built from my meagre guitar callouses. Not any of those days.
As I sip another sip and taste this red wine slide down my throat in an anxious defeat, I taste our lies and I taste our premise, dishonest and real. I taste our once upon a time. I taste fairy tales with no endings, happy or sad. I sip these words and I ascend these stairs and I see a note left from a girl years ago who thought she had a pair of wings and thought that these stairs and these stars could take her to Heaven. I stub out my cigarette and by my feet I read the note I left here years before, a message for lovers, a message for you, a message for us, for our beginning, our middle, and to symbolize the end we never thought we had, but that was possibly just the start of something much more than ourselves.
.. I fell in love here.