Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's Tuesday

My brother told me months ago that relationships are animals. You have to feed them and pet them and let them outside and give them a warm place to curl up at night, or they will turn on you while you're sleeping and gnaw you to pieces. I said he was full of shit.

The irony that Anthony was the one telling me this didn't escape me; Anthony and I haven't coddled our relationship in years. We are twins who pass the peas nicely and sit across the cafeteria, who forget we have the same math class until one of us mentions something Miss Jarible tripped over on her way to the chalkboard, and we look at each other with wide eyes and a little laugh in our throats. Still, on vacations, when we're shoved into a room together, we whisper secrets as easily as we did when we were five.

And he is still the better listener.

My relationship with Michael didn't take any more work. We kissed for the first time when we were twelve and started dating when we were fifteen. After that, we were MichaelandEmme, one breath.

He's tall, but has the smallest hands I've ever seen, fingers thin as spiderwebs. I always touched them when we watched movies, straight ahead, not talking, and pressed his nail beds against my lips, sometimes, because it made me feel like he was fragile.

He ordered breakfast with fruit so he would have something not to eat.

I know all these stupid things about him.

We're seventeen now, him barely so, me for so long it feels like years. We're in my basement where we watched all the movies, where we had sex for the first time, tried to have me on top but I fell off, got a rug burn from the moldy carpet.

My mom's walking around upstairs, talking to her sister on the phone, and she is oblivious.

I wonder if there's even anything she could do. When I think of my mom as a hero, there's one story that always comes to mind. I was playing with Caroline, my favorite friend, in the backyard, and we found a dead—

half dead?

--raccoon down by the creek. We pushed it with a stick and rolled it over—kicked?--and we shrieked our way up the path back to the house, breathless telling the story to my mom, fingers pressed against out mouths, we would never go back outside again, never again, it was so so big.

All mom did was call Animal Control, and everything was cleaned. We went back outside.

Everything my mom has done for me and Anthony, and this is the story that sticks in my mind.

I don't even know where Anthony is.

Michael sits in front of me, hands to himself, on his biceps, squeezing. He watches me like I've died in a car crash.

I want to reach out and touch his hand. Just


But I don't.

He says, “Are you...”

Am I what?




“I'm sorry,” I say.

So even if relationships aren't animals, dead relationships are dead animals. I always thought I could break up with Michael and I would feel as if my hands were washed, and I would get up and walk away. I would get a haircut and a chocolate bar and fix everything, just me. I would be just me.

But no, I am me and my dead relationship, or Michael and our dead relationship, cold frozen eyes staring up at me from the ground, glassy like Michael's, on its back, stinking and swelling with everything it was. And I just want some number to call to come take the carcass, because I don't know what to do with it. I don't know where it goes, or if one of us will have to drag it forever.


Amy Lukavics said...

*thumbs up*

Molly said...

I want to read this one too. How is it that you write in CIRCLES around me?

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Awesome. Dead animals and dead relationships = great idea. :)

Brittany Landgrebe said...


Ok, I need to read the rest of this story. Really good. WANT.

Plz to drop off each new chapter on doorstep.


Ant said...

Wow. This is super powerful. I'm very impressed that you write in GIRL as well as you write in BOY! I'm a frequent reader of your blog, but I don't think I've ever commented before. Imagine that, you've moved me enough to make me leave a comment! Great job. :)

Robby said...

Beautiful. Haunting. Perfect. You're a goddess.

hannah said...

Ant--thanks for contributing! I love comments om nom nom

Robby--love you as usual.

Amy, Molly, Brittany, Lindsay--thank you kindly :)

Delia said...

Did you say you were nineteen? *kills self*

Very. Very. Good.

Rachel said...

You write girls as well as you write boys. I never doubted your skillz.