The happiest day of my life was the day I dropped him off in the parking lot outside the palace and drove away, watching his every move in the rear view mirror, watching him twitch and shudder against the shadows of the palace. He was fat. The night before we stayed up late and naked in bed with the windows open and listening to the barge horns echo off the bay. And before we made love I took him to the bathroom and shaved his privates. He sat on the toilet. I used a washcloth and wet him with warm water. Then shaving cream. The sharp cold razor across his skin, his sunburned skin, slow and gently. We didn’t talk much.
I could drive back tonight and marry him. I could shave him again under the white light in the bathroom, dress him up nicely, tell him what to say. We could walk down the steps of the palace. It would be cold. The moon would be full and white like the bathroom tiles. The moon would reflect from the puddles in the parking lot where I dropped him off and left him. I was happy!
I will visit him in dreams. All it takes is a personal object, a piece of his hair, a shirt, something he’s touched. I have plenty. You burn candles. You say prayers like god I hate this body, I hate this skin, I hate this body. Then fall asleep with the object under your pillow. Look at his hands in the dream. Look at his dream hands. I made those lines in his palms myself. While he slept.
I drove north all day and cried, listening to different radio stations coming in and out of range. I will send him a map of my body. So he will remember and be happy. I am happy. Now we can write letters and call long distance. Now there are no fingerprints or bruises on my body. I will visit him in dreams. Then out bodies won’t remember the damage. We will be weightless and forgiven, no cold wind blowing across our bodies when we touch, reminding , only warm sky and stars to shine through us. He wants me to come back. We were loading my car and he sat down on the steps and cried. He wants me to come back.
I will visit him in dreams. It’s easy. Oh god I hate this body, I hate this skin, I hate this body, I hate this planet, I hate his hands smearing shit all over my stomach under those cool white sheets under darkness in the palace doors closed eyes open I hate this memory burning in the distance away I hate this distance seven hours of static I hate this skin I hate this body I hate this skin. He’s heavy with words and drugs and a million phantoms circling his body like insects, like heaven, like insects swarming in his head all buzzing my name, I’m gone forever, I’m happy.
So now we come to the end of my story and my poor car in the driveway sweating from the drive and no I’ll never feel his breath against my body again, I’m praying, never, and the letters will stop and the phone calls will get shorter. And this life can’t be rewound like a cassette and played over or recorded again with different voices and rhythms, with different words left unsaid. It plays on and you can’t go back. It ends and then we’re ejected and then what? I have some ideas. maybe they just put us in another stereo. Maybe now, tonight, in my dream, I’ll roll over and find him beside me and he’ll whisper the answer in my ear.