"Sometimes I see it less as us having fallen into the same trench, and more as though, with sword drawn, I was backed into a corner, cutting and slashing more furiously, abandonding strategy and now throwing the blade around in a fit of frenzy hoping that all it cut would die, with no hope of victory but only the last bit of rage before I became exhausted.
Somewhere in the heat of it I backed into you. I saw that you had indeed been forced into the same corner. And were winning your battle. It makes me want to fight harder. I just can't tell if it's from inspiration or jealousy.
I want our moments together to tender. I want to be your refuge, if only for a while. And you're right. Thats the way it has to be. You can't turn your back on your enemy to help me, or they'll get us both. Nor can I turn and fight yours, I've been fighting mine much too long - it would be an insult to myself.
So let our moments be the space where we realize that a sword through your chest is the same sword through my back. Let us stand back to back and occasionally shout out loud words of love to each other over the horns and drums of the enemy all around -
have faith in the Republic of Texas..."
While we were busy playing video games and dreaming of better colors to paint the walls, life happened over and around us. While we rode parabolic waves between bouts of sudden fortune and dinners out versus wastrel-thin meals and bitter indignities of employment, our time together was gathering, commenting, dissolving about and within us. While we argued whether it was the poor or the rich that deserved to be cooked and eaten, while we ignored problems and committed secret indiscretions, while we flourished in public and in private even during the times we seemed determined to escape each other, time seethed beneath our feet like a rug pulled out from under us. All this flying may have been falling for all we know.
Last week I thought with dread that I'd missed it, that I forgot to remember it, neglected to properly appreciate our victories or archive them so that I wouldn't have passed in and then out of the longest and best relationship I'd ever co-starred in and be left with no evidence. I should have taken your picture every week. I should have opened my eyes wider, talked less, absorbed more. How can a body make these decisions in the present tense? I'm riding a sled down a tilted plane, sanding my heels to the bone trying to brake so that there is more to the ride than the point I embarked from and the point I arrive at. I want to know where I was in between, all of those half-seconds at high speed. They were the happiest half-seconds of my life, I want to at least know where I was when I had them.
But that's the lie of a wounded mind. In reality, I forgot and neglected nothing. We have always been more bare and less blind than most couples, we make preposterous, impossible decisions as casually as others order Chinese food. If there was love or blood or bile to be wrung out of those days, we sprained our forearms doing it. We blew through assailants with blades blazing, but dressed each other's wounds by night, and each inspired the epic poetry the other wrote on his sabbaticals and solo missions. The sad truth is that there is nothing you can do to remember better, to make those moments last as anything but echoes. Without a physical tie to the mythological, a tooth or some scrap of hide or horn, you will never quite believe what it was that you hunted all those years, and even then you grow to worship the artifact, not the beast.
You wrote this letter to me after we'd known each other four months. It is a testament to our indefatiguable stubbornness, if not our love, that it could have just as easily been written now, four years later. As long as you remember that Arizona was one of the last territories to be settled into statehood, and I keep in mind that there are factions in Texas that are still lobbying to secede, we can hopefully still meet in this corner from time to time and lay waste to hours and enemies alike.