I mourned that bottle of liquor you gave me. I remember you wrapped it in a fleece blanket. I consider it a victory that I don't remember the design on the blanket, though if you gave me a moment, I fear I could. I don't give myself those moments anymore. You said you had a gift for me, and there it was: all of the things you loved and something I loved in a pile on your bed. I was actually grateful you'd given me something I could keep for long after you were gone. I know now we should have drunk the entirety of those bottles in the months we had left, sucked them dry like our affair and sent the bottles in for recycling.
I was still angry, so I dumped that whole damn bottle in with the grapefruit juice knowing it would have upset you, the cruel fate of the rye whiskey, an innocent bystander. We poured it into a water bottle mixed with drugstore grapefruit juice--pinker and sweeter than God intended. We took sips in the dark of the theatre, our faces interpretive dances for the taste. That night, after the movie and the headache set in, I cried in the shape of a fetus thinking how you'd never seen that apartment, never would know my whiskey faux pas, never would discuss another book, another predictable movie ending with me over drinks and stolen leg pets. Months later I donated the dusty bottle of Benedictine to a friend, a mixologist who I still sometimes get the urge to introduce you to.
Monday, February 6, 2012
We make films on the weekends. Clayton's grandpa has all kinds of cameras and film in his basement, and we root through them for the stuff that doesn't look moldy. We won't know if the film works until we've strung it up on one of the old Super-8s, but it isn't about the finished product. It won't be until we're older, longing to look back. Right now it's enough to be making movies without sound, trying to capture what the sun looks like against Clayton's cheek, one eye squeezed shut, the other trying hard to memorize in case the film is too old to do its job.
People always want to tell you who you look like. Someone famous, someone they know who you'll never know, someone who's been dead a long time, so long their photographs are all misplaced, tucked into old library books or storage units that'll be cleaned out by a stranger years from now. I used to wonder if I should be flattered when people told me I looked like a movie star, or their great Uncle Jasper on their mother's side, until I realized it wasn't about me. It never was. It was about some loose ends in their mind, some synapse refiring after so many latent years. I was a memory right in front of them, living and breathing and nodding as they said, You know who you remind me of? I'm old now, admittedly bitter, and it takes more of me each time to say only, Who's that?