coffee the morning after.

like caffeine and alcohol combined, you are a drug that i am still hungover from.

it takes me a few days to sober up from you. just like the beer i had with my brother at the giants game or the truffles i ate with ismael at dolores park; i keep saying i won’t do it like this again. i need to commit to this lesson. but in order to finally do so i also need to understand why. so here it goes…

we don’t belong. not in the way of oil and water, but more so like an espresso shot and a cup of dark roast. only insane people mix the two together and mixing the two together too many times is neither sustainable nor healthy.

you are not healthy for me.

this weekend spent with you was wonderful in it’s force as it always is with you. when i was a girl we would visit pearl city every year to see my father’s family. i was too young to swim out into the ocean like my brothers, so instead i found simple joy from sitting on the hawaiian shore, letting the waves coming in engulf me. tumbling in a curled up ball i knew the crash would come and laughing out the salt water in my mouth, this activity was too fun not to do over and over again.

you are the wave and i always feel the crash.

this last one was enough though and your novelty is starting to wear off. the few days of spontaneous lust we keep having now feel routine. coming home on saturday i sat on my bed, texted you my gratitude and expressed by unconditional love for you. somewhere of crossing the bridge where on the other side was you that put your legs between my thighs when sleeping, called me your princess when you handed me a latte you made by hand, and kissed me goodbye as if this was a muscle reflex we would do again soon. now sitting here in the city, you closed off the connection to cross back to the east bay where you reside. the return text was only, “wow. thanks to you too. you should know you’re pretty dope yourself.” i felt the crash coming, the tears forming. and yet somehow in choosing to pursue this last night, i knew this moment would come. i had watched this wave coming at me, just as i have watched every other wave before this one for the last two years, and it was my choice to stay. the desire for passion and intimacy, even if it came with a price the morning after.

i can’t comprehend all of the reasons exactly why i ended up sobbing on my bedroom floor after that text exchange on that quiet saturday morning. especially when deep down in my core i know that you are not a person for me to be around for long. even when another time we went to get donuts at 1am and then sandwiches at betty’s bakery for lunch (after sleeping together by my demand for the second time that day), i could never finish my food without feeling nauseous. it was as if my body rejected nourishing itself around you because with you it doesn’t know how to do that. all my body knows is to douse in sex and caffeine when it is within your company. you are so toxic for me that my body would not even allow me to swallow you down.

we don’t listen to our bodies enough; bodies tell us what we need to survive and thrive. 

and the fact of the matter is, despite my unconditional love for you, i would find moments in our days together where i hated who i was with you. there were moments i realized that with other men i would sit and laugh for hours, but with you blanks often came to my mind of what to talk about. i become a woman with little to say. i have apprehensions and fear of judgement floating in my head. no silliness or passionate rants. i really become a bore. you must think so too throughout the time we spend together. you barely even know who i am even after all this time. don’t know my gluttonous indulgences of pop music or the types of strange noises that make me laugh simply because they sound weird. i like being weird. you don’t know that i extend myself far beyond my scope for the passion of community and the poetry we both love. you don’t know how many times i have gotten my heart broken before and after you, or what made me into a stronger person after every fall. i don’t even think you know my middle name. you just barely noticed the bracelet i have been wearing since we first met on my left wrist. a bracelet from my mother to remind me that i am loved and do not need to cut or burn myself. acts of self-punishment that i have been tempted to indulge in again while dating you.

maybe then, i wonder. it is not so much about the type of person we want to be with, but more so about wanting to be the best version of ourselves that we become when in partnership with that person.

so how could you possibly even begin to love me if you have only seen a sliver of my real life? is that your fault or mine? what i know of you is that you fascinate me in a way that brings me into a world i would not know of otherwise. we are so alike in the way we demand what we love and cut what we hate. you are money and masculinity that has not found its way through an 8-year-old childhood in the south central hood of LA yet. you are ego and societal expectations of a shallow world you know well you have bought into. you are intelligent sharp tongue, bourgeoisie older black man, hollow drum that is beaten loudly. you are not yet self-love, soon becoming actualized life regrets. you are raw, angry, and honest. i love that so very much about you.

really, we are just two people who can count on eachother to scratch an itch of loneliness, fill a void of attention, and bring us into worlds we would not commonly be privy to in our normal public lives. we are evolving each other slowly without even realizing it, magnets that cannot stay away. we are figuring ourselves out still and using each other as soundboards and testing experiments. the most profound thing that you ever said to me was, “we all use each other for something.” and i have used you up as much as you me. that's okay. our supply is short, that is okay. we do not belong and we never last for long. you have been beautiful and you will be brief in my life.

so thank you, lover - for the company, the coffee, and this chapter. 


header image courtesy of Zaczarowana Walizka.