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Aug 2013
I don't know why I went to the park that day, to be honest. But it was as though the idea was contained in the center of one of the anti-depressants that I swallowed that morning, as though it was released into my bloodstream along with the rest of the ingredients that usually bring me a sense of peace (on good days), as though it bloomed like a vine that weaved through my capillaries and consumed every part of me. Once it took hold of me, I couldn't rid myself of it, so I succumbed to it. As soon as the bottom of my sandals made contact with the soft dirt of the playground, goosebumps rose to the surface of my skin like every memory bursting through my subconscious. The last time I was here, my shoes never met the ground, because you carried me on your back like a child and set me down gently on the tire swing just inside the entrance. I walked slowly towards the swing, envisioning how we must have looked that day. My hands clinging to the chains supporting the tire like they held tightly to your heart strings, my legs kicking from beneath me as though I were splashing in the waves of every ounce of love that poured from us, and my hair flowing in the breeze with the same ease that we existed in each other's presence. Your hands pressed against my back and pushed me higher and higher, and although I was swaying several feet from the ground, I had never felt more safe. I could hear your laughter from behind me and the soundwaves wrapped around my chest like a parachute that I knew would carry me to safety. I felt drawn to the swing once again, so I lifted my legs over the tire and wrapped my hands around the chains once more, rocking back and forth slowly. I closed my eyes, allowing myself to feel the rythym of the swing throughout my entire body. But my meditation was interrupted by a familiar sound that seemed to be gliding upon the invisible fibers of the light breeze that was softly kissing my cheeks. The sound wrapped itself around my head and entered my ears, filling them. I opened my eyes to see several shadows walking in my direction in the distance. The trees overhead were offering them a cover that they slipped quietly beneath, but within seconds, they stepped into the sunlight and I caught my breath. You were among them, and your head was tilting back in laughter, and your hands were moving gracefully in front of you, and your feet were walking swiftly as though you weren't wading through a swamp littered with my memory. And that was when you saw me, and if I hadn't been looking right at you, I wouldn't have noticed the slight twitch in your smile when your eyes met mine. But you didn't miss a step, you never did. Not even when you wrapped your fingers tightly around my heart and then shattered it into a million pieces. I couldn't remove my gaze from you, from your graceful and unaffected presence. I couldn't even register who you were with because I was so focused on the way your tongue slipped effortlessly in and out of your mouth. And if I wasn't mistaken, you slightly lifted your head in my direction as a nod of recognition, but you kept on walking. And I kept staring, because I always seemed to be the one clinging to something that was already gone. But it was in that moment that the vines in my bloodstream dissolved and I suddenly felt free from it all, as though it was my purpose to revisit the place I have replayed in my mind a thousand times only to replace it with a new memory. And it was in that moment that I realized that all you would ever be from now on is a memory, an empty tire swing swaying in an invisible breeze.
Written by
Asphyxiophilia  Pennsylvania
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