There's something about dead lifting.
Something brute and sexy.
Iron beckons you from the ground, daring, flirting.
Hands find their places wider than legs, butt down, knees bent.
Inhaling, I look at myself in the mirror and feel the roughness of the bar in my grip.
Tighten, untighten, steel, squeeze, exhale, lift.
Like everything in life, it's overcoming the heaviness over starting on the ground.
My form is nearly perfect and I can feel the measured glances of everyone around the gym switch to me.
Including the girl I silently compete with.
He said he had to get a drink during my sets to avoid staring.
I can feel it in my butt, my back, my hamstrings, my core, counting silently to myself.
I can feel something.
The three of us sat in the little 50's retro themed bar sipping martinis and mojitos, telling stories from our undergrads, times past.
Reckless and wild in our continued search for adulthood.
The alcohol trickled down conscience fortified veins like hot liberation and without thought I gently moved my hand to his knee which sat so close to mine.
Each finger slowly stroked his leg, one at a time in agonizing tempo.
His arm immediately rippled.
"It's kind of cold in here, I'm getting goosebumps."
Looked up, smiling at me.
"Yah, it's pretty chilly," rubbing my own arm convincingly.
"A little bit," his friend said, looking around the room at others sitting at their tables and making a comment about a mutual friend.
The moment conveniently falling through the cracks.
We came home early from the bars, picking up the makings of Scarlett O'Hara's.
Soon I was in liquor slumber, awakened by soft kisses.
Ending with his arm around my waist, only waking the next morning with the sun to go to my own room.
He likes Chopin and whiskey and gambles now and then.
When we're all studying we'll look up and he'll give me that smile, the one where we both want to sneak away and pretend I wasn't bad at commitment or making choices.
But my loyalties and my interests don't inhabit the same spaces.
Where are you L and why did you morph from my prince to my friend once again?
Sometimes people will say that you don't love someone if you're interested in another.
And I think that's because we don't all want to believe it, like it could happen to us.
We don't want to believe that people are as much like the wind as you think.
Transitory and graspless.
Who am I?
Sometimes the thought flits through my mind as I approach the bar.
The distance from standing to the ground is far when you're squatting with long legs.
I load the plates one at a time, quickly putting on the clips with a little snap.
They've always been a measure of who I was since I began my recovery.
Something about breaking 90, using great force to overcome the weight on your shoulders.
Something about overcoming who you see in the mirror.
We're all doing paradoxical things.
Some of us destroying things more than others.
<Light me on fire, I'll set a blaze in your heart.>
My iron will wasn't so iron and in the end I became molten metallic with a hint of blood.
I thought maybe I had found the person I wanted to spend my life with.
It's that unexplainable feeling that lovers whisper to themselves in the middle of the night.
That secret feeling you keep to yourself, buried in your heart.
He dismantled that and all I want to know is what changed?
Something is stirring.
It's that subtle rush of wings in your chest,
"Almost time to fly."
There's a reason he came like brutal rain.
There's a reason he rips negativity from my marrow and burns it.
I got lost in the moment.
Skin craving his touch like fresh dawn.
Why not with L?
I was emotionally naked with L, and to a large extent, him.
I want to write on what's happening.
Something beautiful and terrible and confusing.
Like a storm, like softness, like disoriented time.
I grasp for words and emotions and I come up short every time.
I was (am?) in love with my very dear friend.
Maybe it was poor timing as it's always been...
Dove headfirst to escape my abusive previous relationship.
I won't tell him. Can't.
There's something there.
And if I'm being honest, I want this.
I want to be in my 20's having a whirlwind romance.
Soft sighs in the night.
No reservations, no destination.
Just lips to skin.
Knees touching under the table.
Words with double meanings around friends.
Talking about music and life and the soft spots in our hearts.
He's been healing me.
Making me comfortable with my body, my mind.
Almost as though he was supposed to be the one that prepared me for that terrible thing commitment, even if it's not with him.
The sun refracts through my eyes and through the trees.
Air warm, sun a gentle fall.
Eyelashes softly flutter as night comes.
Fifth cup of coffee with cream.
Table covered with law books and Spanish and a research proposal like crumpled leaves.
"Do you like riddles?"
"Only until I can't guess the answer."
"Oh, this one would take you weeks. You may never get it."
"Tell me anyway."
"The tip of my tongue is already touching the roof of my mouth."
"Does it answer my text?"
"It's an answer. Far more cheesy than your text. There's so much in words. And it's a statement. Cleverly veiled. But now once you figure it out, you'll know what I meant, and when I meant it. And you will be surprised."
"What if I can never figure it out?"
"Then you'll never figure it out."