I had a crush on your mind since I first walked through your doors, all marked Private. I liked what I found inside, and I didn’t think twice about the signs. I looked around hungrily and imagined changing the locks, pulling out the Welcome Home mat, and maybe cleaning up that corner. How did this happen? It’s simple, baby. I fell in love, hard and fast, at a time when I would have eaten love raw and off the floor had I seen it. And there you were, coming for me. You made me feel wanted when I wanted nothing more. You opened up a little, and I thought it was a lot. You had gentle manners and rough edges, and you showed me the world as I had never seen it before. I soaked it all up with the greed and thirst of someone who has never been on the sunny side of life.
And no wonder, for you turned on the light, and turned on the light, and turned on the light. You just made everything so much brighter. My eyes were burning, but I was fascinated. I wasn’t sure if it meant anything, sure. But it was something, and something was so much better than nothing that, after a while, it just had to be everything. I wanted to play, too. I’d never played with this much light before. I wanted to turn the saturation all the way up until all I saw was colour, until the colour hurt my eyes, until I couldn’t look away. I never wanted to look away again. My mind was on fire, slowly burning away all the years of sweet nothingness before you, making way for the new memories that were in the making. And my heart, oh, my heart. A fireball that rolled dangerously in your direction, throwing off sparks they called young love. How I loved to see what it could do. Didn’t you?
You didn’t. You tried to warn me when you saw it coming, but at that point it was coming in full force. I didn’t even respond. I didn’t even really listen. I just nodded in your direction and let my flames get bigger as you smiled back. You see, baby, I liked your strength, your roughness, and your darkness. I liked your focus, your presence, and your intensity. I liked the way you wanted things, went for them, and got them. I liked how I was one of them. I liked how much you wanted me, for a split second in time. How close it felt to infinity. How close I felt to infinity. How close you felt. There was nothing I liked more. I never questioned why you wanted me to pay more attention. I just thought you’d more to show me, and I was eager to see it all. I only missed the essential.
You came and went in episodes, but there was nothing worth remembering from the times in between, and so I forgot everything as it happened. This new, vibrant side of life you led me to was the only thing in focus, and I breathed it in like the world was running out of air. When you were not around, waking up was only for diving into daydreams that would never happen, but I did not know that when everything seemed just on the very edge of happening. Images of us were constantly running through my head. I have no other memories of those days, they just blur in the background. Chilly autumn evenings with you, lattes and limos in square markets with you, the special look in your eyes (a kind of heaviness), my heart skipping so many happy beats when it was with you. You, you, you. Day, night, day, night, day, night. August, December, April…
The world is back to the way it was before you, bland and colourless. I’d imagine what things would look like if they were still illuminated, but I can’t. The sparks inside me have gone out and the rest of me has gone quiet. I don’t know where to get all the light you had inside you. I didn’t have enough time in your rooms to figure it all out. I’m struggling with the voice, too. I can’t brighten up a room, and I have nothing to say to it. I wonder how you did that. I don’t think you know how you did it. You never mentioned it and seemed surprised by the idea. Sometimes I’m not even sure it was you who did it. I had this crazy thought that maybe it was just me. Maybe I’d never seen myself on fire before, and I didn’t know what it looked like. Maybe my happiness burns so bright that it made you glow—and I was only looking at you. Maybe my enthusiasm burns so brightly that it eventually sets the world on fire. These are just maybes.
When it gets really dark, I try to remember how I saw the world when I was in it with you, but the memories are starting to fade into the background, mingling with everything else that was lost, forgotten, or never quite noticed. I know what this means. One day they’ll come back to me and I’ll take a moment to remember where they came from. They’ll have lived so long in my memory box that they’ll have lost their shine and smell of newness. But only then will I be able to look at them, and play with them, and turn them into the fire that—maybe—I am. Now I’m not. Now I have to gently let them go, close my eyes, and wait for the fog to clear, the world to come back into focus, and the sun to rise again, from—maybe—inside me.