I dream of a soft blanket wrapped around me, the snow falling on your city lighter than breath. I'm writing at a window, my window, wherever that will be, with my legs curled under me and my headphones on. There's hot chocolate on the stove (there's liqueur to mix in it) and the window is cracked just enough to feel the ice in the air, just enough for the smoke from my cigarette to slip out in spiraling clouds to join the blue light of dawn.
I dream of walking to work in the winter, of coffee shops encased in ice and the steam that unfurls from the cup in ghostly flags. It is the silence of a movie's opening credits and who knows, yet, where this story will go? It is the thrill of uncertainty that keeps me balanced, standing tall. Seated, wrapped in dreams and blankets, sweater swallowing me whole and my teacup balanced on my knee. A breath of foreshadowed winter that can touch me, even here.
I do not find it hard to imagine what other people want from me. I behave in a certain way in certain situations. I do not slip, in general. In specific, where you find me, it is different. I am on terra firma only when I know what is expected of me. At any other moment I might slip into the diction and hauteur of someone else's expectations, and disappoint.
I can argue, I can demand. I can sit demurely on the floor, knees canted to the side and skirt tucked around my thighs while I smoke a cigarette in the sunset. I can laugh and flirt and do many things without thinking about them, but I cannot, somehow, intuit what you want. There is some kind of block in play.
Do not give me leave to decide for myself what you want. Do not leave me without an operating manual for our conversations unless you want to see me gasp like a sea-creature hauled upward. Choking, inelegant, on the sudden lack of pressure. I will write these thoughts (maybe), but put on the spot I can no longer speak. Will I ever be able to say what I mean? I cannot ask you, not out loud. I could ask you with my fingers, trailing along your sides. I could ask with my eyes, silently fixed on yours. Tactile, assertive, never yielding, never mute. Except somehow, now, I am.
Perhaps I am caught in the web of your expectations no less than anyone else's. Perhaps I will find a voice in the spaces that exist without thought. It hasn't happened yet.
to be continued.