Slow Jam

Love, soulfood

I miss you when I’m cutting an onion. Half way through when I would normally yell uncle and bring you the knife, I just stand there and lean into the fire welling in my lash line, spilling down my face.

I miss you when it’s too early to be dancing at a bar, but I’m old and can’t wait until midnight to get the party started any more. So, instead of pounding the rest of my drink and reaching out for your hand. I slowly sip a gin and tonic, reciting affirmations like dance like no one is looking, and dance like everyone is looking, and you only live once, and fuck it this is your joy, and waltz out to a barren floor and do my thing.

A stadium of narrowed eyes glance up from their phones and scanning my body. I see them, every one of them. Ninety percent disgust me. Exactly one of them is drunk enough to remove himself from his stool to ask me to dance. He’s a short hispanic man who thinks that every song is the rumba. You know, these hips grew up on hip hop and soul jams, so I’m forced to dig deep into my muscle memory. Where I pull out those months of Zumba taught by a peppy Latino named Frank and that time that we took bachata lessons and the instructor said in no uncertain way that it was a shame that such a smooth man like yourself was partnered with me. But I make do, because I feel the most like me when I’m in motion, and at least someone was willing to be my surrogate partner.

I miss you when last call comes and I get ushered out of the club in a flood of people. People asking for my number. Small hispanic man asking when I would be there again. I don’t know, I grimace and tipsily wedge my way through the crowd. Once I hit the night air I realize it’s almost two. How did that happen. And more impressively how am I not dead, that was multiple solid hours of dancing for a girl who barely does any cardio. There I am, stripped of inquiring eyes. Alone. In the dark, dead streets of a city that I’m beginning to despise.

If I’m lucky enough to make it home with out being accosted, I walk in my door lie down on my couch and slowly breath. Attempting to regulate the excruciating pain of being one person in a 1,000 square feet, that used to feel far too small. Now it feels like the Taj Mahal. The mausoleum of my shattered expectations, buried in a tomb that implanted in my left atrium. When I’m awake at night because it’s still hard to fall asleep without anyone to curl in next to I hear it. Well I hear the blood pounding around it, making a new path, doing everything that it can to keep me alive.

Alive some hours more than others. It’s just those little things that happen all day long that remind me that alone is not a home. It’s a temporary residence. I like to keep the bed made and not make too much noise when I come in. Out of respect for it’s impermanence. So that when the time comes for me to move out of the slow dread of solo that the transition will be easy. Don’t worry I’m being careful about packing back up this baggage, going to try and take as little of it as possible on the next flight.

 

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