I was just thinking of you while I came. You remember the day we had gone swimming when I held you down. You were such a mess from choking. It was lovely.
She’s an ex. We ended badly, not as friends. I had deleted her number, never expected to hear from her again. I don’t know why she sent it. Nostalgia maybe, or as a thank-you. Maybe she wanted to taunt me with what I was missing, or maybe she was just sharing something wanton and wonderful.
I didn’t ask. I didn’t tell her how it made me feel–strutting proud, important, and aroused, with only a touch of bitterness. I didn’t say anything before deleting her from my phone again. Maybe that was the wrong call. It takes courage (or at least bravado) to send a message like that. If I’d sent it, I know the silence would sting.
I’ve left a great many messages unsent. Some I regret not sending, even after years. The “I’m sorry”s and the “thank you”s make up some–it took far too long to learn that those should never go unsaid. But mostly, it was fear. What if I said something vulnerable, something that boiled down to “I’m thinking of you,” and the answer were “why should I care?” What if, ultimately, no one does?
I’ve disappeared from entire social circles, moved states, and changed numbers more than once. Only one friend has ever tracked me down. It is not hard to disengage, when I don’t feel valued. Not feeling particularly valuable makes not feeling valued an easy default. Of course, disengaging means not showing others they are valued too. It can be an isolating cycle.
It’s not one I’m willing to break out of. Sometimes the thought of building intimacy is just as frightening as the thought that it isn’t possible. Fear of either leads to holding intimate thoughts close.
These are a few texts left unsent, presented without context. They won’t ever reach the people for whom they were written. I think that’s probably all right.
The orange trees are blooming. The way you tasted and the way your beard felt when we kissed still hits me every time I smell them.
Remember when you said I could be your Jewish wife? I never thanked you. I know it was a joke, but I go back to that every time I’m afraid it’s not okay to want more than one.
It’s 2:03 on a Monday night. I’m awake. I know you’re awake. The last thing I want is to text you. The only thing I want is to text you.
I hate my skin without bruises. I miss running hands over them, feeling the kind of shabby and well-used that makes one real.