You see him first in a glare of sunlight through clouds, armored up in shiny coverings, the sort of bracelets that have bandaids hidden underneath. The kind of opulence that covers up the decay inside. Cumulonimbus blossoming out of pale white. You love him anyway. You love him like he’s an airborne spark and you’re a forest full of dry wood, like you never knew how to love until he came along. He loves you back like lightning reflecting off of his cloud white teeth. He loves you back.
The two of you are still incomplete, though, lightning without thunder, clouds without rain, just a summer day desert electrical storm that quietly knocks out power grids. You kiss like staticky cotton balls, every fiber drawn towards the sky and the ground. Your skin prickles with shock when he loops his hand through yours but your other hand hangs loose at your side and so does his. He stretches like a wispy cloud trying to cover up a blue sky and you rub your feet along carpets. It’s not enough.
He finds someone at a bar one night, says she laughed like rain in an overturned umbrella, says her hand fit in his empty palm like a cloud heavy with rain, that he came home without a wallet, without a watch. With a business card tucked into his pocket. He tells you this and you kiss him, positive to negative, tell him to get his girl. You tell him that you love him like electricity loves a rainstorm and he smiles. She comes home and drenches the house with her presence. You love her like nothing else, because she carries you to new places. You love them both.
But even with the three of you, rain and cloud and ground, and the lightning that occurs when you all end up in the same place, it’s quiet. It’s powerful, you love her like exposed wires in a flooded basement, encompassing, deadly, and you love him like a taser sputtering in your hand, but it’s quiet, even if it’s deadly, even if it’s beautiful. It’s not enough.
You meet her in the streets and she throws a grenade past you and it rumbles in your chest. She drags you onto the back of her motorcycle and roars through the back ways. You feel her laugh vibrate though your jacket, your arms holding on for dear life. You tell them about her, and light as rain, soft as clouds they kiss you, tell you that they love you and then torrential, blotting out the sun, they push you to the door, static against your back, tell you to go get her. You bring her home and the sky shakes. You loop your hands through thunder and clouds and rain and thunder link together and the circle is closed as rain and cloud grab onto each other desperately.
((screencaps taken by @lenneth-andrew again (because I have yet to master the art of doing one of these performances and taking my own dang screencaps at the same time) from Ilan’s performance at the lovely open cabaret and raffle hosted by @keepers-kiss ! Thank you for letting this newbie nerd perform!))
“I’m like an unreliable narrator about him because I’m remembering a teenager as a teenager and what I clearly remember about him is that he [River] was this raw emotional open wound all the time. He felt everything.”