i. you were drunk. i’d never tasted alcohol before but i’d smelled it on my mother’s breath, and it smelled a lot heavier on yours. you were my first taste of anything, my first innocent plunge into the waters of adolescent lust, and you were my first exercise in idealization. you told me i was a bad kisser. i took it to heart, and decided i would practice before i kissed you again, but i never got to.
ii. we forged something out of nothing. the wilderness of it all was almost too much for me to wrap my mind around. you were weird and i was lonely. we were blind toxicity, three years of it – well, almost. we were two years and eight months of stupid teenage idleness and wandering hands and getting yelled at for making out in stairwells. i threw it away because you treated me like nothing and for once, i just wanted the upper hand.
iii. you were my way out. you were another pawn in my selfish game. i should’ve treated you like a person. i shouldn’t have begged you to kiss me back. but all i could think about was the fact that you weren’t him, and your lips would do nicely for a change. if i weren’t so observant i would never have noticed the way your gaze lingered every tuesday, and perhaps i wouldn’t be here – so i guess i’m thankful for it all.
iv. hello, destruction. i never imagined you’d look so beautiful. i never thought something so lovely would be my catalyst to pure madness. you woke up something inside me in the dead of winter. you were older and you were wild and adventurous and i was on the verge of adulthood and i decided to hitch a ride. you broke me in june; november was when the storm came. i remember tasting your tears when we kissed on the porch. i tried to make us something we weren’t. it was never your fault. i should have loved you more purely. i’m sorry.
v. new year’s eve. i was your placeholder and you were mine, but we didn’t know it until afterwards. we laughed about it. you’re alright.
vi. your kiss meant more because i waited 60 days and some change for it. it also cost me, ultimately, 1200 miles on my odometer and my ability to trust. i should have known you were too good to be true, but you made everything look so pretty – i couldn’t break my own heart even if i tried. i saw it coming and handed you your weapon anyway. please, please…just treat her better.
vii. i never thought i’d meet someone less in control of their own life than i am, but there’s a first time for everything, isn’t there? you always tasted like bourbon – which was fine, at first, because i really like bourbon – except one night we were lying on your mattress without a frame (yeah, one of those guys, you were) and you were telling me how stifling it was to be sober, how you always wanted to be drunk or high once you could afford to be. i felt the disconnect there and decided to break it off – but how on earth did you manage to turn the tables so that i felt as though i was the one being shortchanged?
viii. i almost saw a quirky indie movie in you. i turned you down but you persisted; i mean, you were really interested. or so i thought. you asked me about everything under the sun and i talked because you liked to listen. you were a christian, and exuded spirituality; i think maybe my lack thereof turned you off, but i’ll never know what the issue was because you never gave me an answer. maybe i had something in my teeth? figures.
ix. i knew we were incompatible from the get-go but i was tired of feeling unsuccessful in my romantic endeavors, and there was something different about you that i knew i had to try on for size. unfortunately, that ‘something different’ was a truckload of baggage attached to an ex-lover that, let’s face it, i could never live up to. your bedroom was dark and cramped, and you drank too much beer. i hope you’re alright, though – and i hope you’re over her.
x. you. have i even found the words for you yet? they float within me unattached to anything because there’s no gravity when i’m around you. when i look at you i know that i’ll never be able to make sense of myself but that’s okay; you seem content with doing it for me. you are sunlight in the middle of the night and warm blankets in faraway places. you are more than that. you are a confidant, you are a dream. i never want to wake up; i will always see your smile behind my eyelids. i hope i never have to taste another pair of lips again.
— letters to people i’ve kissed