For staying when I know it would be easier for you to go. For telling me again that you’re not going anywhere, that you want to be here for me. You don’t care if it will never be easy to be with me.
For being patient when one day I can’t stop smiling when I look at you, and the next day I pull away and refuse to look you in the eyes.
For not holding grudges when I come home angry at you and everything, and it’s not your fault. When my thoughts get so tightly wound up that I can’t unravel them, and I can’t tell you why I’m frustrated or sad or angry. I just am. And you stay to witness or bear what I can manage to get out.
For being happy with me on the good days. When the sun has been out just long enough. When I’m not stuck on my butt at a desk fueling self-loathing by florescent lights. (You’ve always said I’m like a flower. I open up to receive the warm light, and close up when the gray clouds return.) When I’m not drained by stale small talk with people who are only interested in me because they think it gets them what they need and I’m too stupid to catch on to it. When I’m not spinning out on a self-righteous tirade about humanity’s lack of morals. Usually brought on by driving in rush hour traffic.
For coming back when I tell you maybe it would be better if you left. For putting it away for another time when I say maybe I’ll leave and never come back too. But I couldn’t leave the cat.
For sometimes not listening to me. When you know I’d over-analyze something until I couldn’t act unless I answered the 5,000 questions that weren’t there before and won’t be there tomorrow when it’s all done.
For staying when I’ve been a corpse. A mind and soul detached from my body since the car ride away from you, even though we’re back together now. I can’t explain why. I don’t know if I’ll ever float back into myself to stay.
I watch above myself on the outside. Directing myself by waves in the air hoping the energy from my movement will move my body along. I perform routine for weeks. I forget entire days. The time spent within them too meaningless to remember. You stand beside me, waiting for the days when my mind and soul float back into me. Those days I smile, I feel love again. I try to ignore my guilt as I wonder how ungrateful I must be to forget the other days together. To forget them as if the life we’re trying to make has no meaning.
For loving my cat. For helping me treat her like our family. Like our more grateful, less poopy child that will never be able to speak English and won’t destroy my insides. For loving her anyway, even though she’s stolen most of my already divided attention when I’m home.
For struggling to make things better for us. For being more than I can see or more than I can be kind enough to acknowledge most days.
For seeing the beauty in me and trying to help me find it, when I’m blinded and disgusted by my own blindness.
For being there when I wake up at night scared and calling out for you. In the early morning, when you kiss me goodbye before I have to wake up, you are all I need. I don’t remember money or work or the things we’re missing, all I can recall is how much I belong here with you.
All I can give you right now are the good days. I don’t know what’s happened to me. Maybe I’m just a little older and more jaded. Maybe I just need to stop taking synthetic hormones.
As long as I still smile in the morning when you kiss me, as long as you’re still here to see me smile, everything is going to be ok.