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Aug 2013
I take my wallet out of my pocket
as I get ready to pull the blanket over me and go to sleep
I take my wallet out of my pocket so that in my sleep
the razor blade I keep inside
for convenience
doesn't slip out and cut me up
more than I would like to be.

I let that little bit of leather rest in my hand
and stare at it in the light from the worn lamp with chipping black paint
that silently stands over my computer monitor
lighting this small corner of the living room
that I live in.

My wallet is lighter
and there is a bulge missing
the bulge that I always kept at the front
in the same slot as my razor
after the string unfurled and my neck started to ache.

Yes, that coin is gone
that little Moroccan good luck charm that you insisted was special
even though there was another handful of identical coins in your cupholder.

It's gone and so are you:
it is no longer rubbing against my thigh as I walk
or hitting that hollow spot in my breast bone every time I take a step
and the line of blisters that formed around it when I got sunburnt while wearing it is gone.

And your words are no longer ringing in my ears
my fingers are no longer aching to tap my thoughts into my phone to you,
I have no tears in my eyes as I set my wallet on the little makeshift table
that my computer monitor rests on,
that your phone would rest on.

I only smile as I look at the string curled around the feet of the clock that you found
on the other side of those boxes
last time you were here.

I smile at the string that once held that coin
that I was considering putting the little plastic coin
painted the color of your car
and carved with the words "Washington's Lottery"
to prove to myself that I am a winner
that I do not lose at every aspect of my life.

But I realized the other day I didn't need to
I didn't need that memory of my success
because I can flip off any car even remotely similar to yours and feel no shame
I can walk down the road and watch you turn around in a parking lot fifty feet in front of me
just to avoid me
and know that I have won freedom
from all the pain you caused me
because these nights I don't have tears frozenΒ Β in my eyes
and my legs don't bleed.

I let my wallet rest there in the lamplight
and turn off the lamp.
I pull the comforter over me and wrap myself in that fuzzy blue blanket
that I once said I preferred over you to keep me warm
laughing as the words rolled off my tongue
because we both knew it was a joke.

But it isn't a joke anymore
the prefer the slight warmth that gives me
over the artificial warmth of your skin
since what's hidden because pumps ice through your veins.

I curl up under that blanket in the darkness
on that couch we almost went all the way on
and would have if my aunt hadn't been twenty feet away.
I curl up under that blanket alone
and feel for my now-flat wallet
smiling as my palm rests on the leather
and I remember the bulge that is now on a chain in my sister's bedroom in Sequim.

You have left me
and I'm happy for that.
I bring my arm back to me
and tuck it under my body
smiling because I'm alone
and smiling because being away from you
being rid of you
makes me smile.
Brandon Webb
Written by
Brandon Webb
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