I was afraid, in those first few days after Yves died, that I would turn into Miss Havisham. I didn't want to shower, or change my clothes. If I sat and pulled my knees up close, put my face down on my chest, made a tent out of my sweater, I could smell him. He was still there on my flesh, the places he had touched and licked and sucked. The skin he had told me was so touchable, so soft. The skin he had stroked in play, but also in wonder, in awe, that this thing was happening to us. And so, I buried my nose under my cardigan and breathed in deep.
When I finally did take a shower, I wept. I wept that I was washing off whatever remained of him. I wept as the sponge passed over the parts of my body where his mouth and fingers and cock had been. I wept that the previous shower had been a deux, the two of us playing grownup games.
I stayed in the shower for a long time. I needed its warmth to penetrate what had become numb. My interactions with the world that weekend were carried out behind a curtain of gauze. People hugged me, but I did not want to be touched. I couldn't feel anything except that theirs were not the bodies of my lover. It was raining that weekend, but the air had the stifled, semi-opaque feel of summer; it clogged my sinuses, clouded my eyes.
I was so afraid that weekend that I would forget. I wanted to hold on to every little word he had said to me, every phrase, everything that had made me laugh, or shiver in delight of what was to come. Truthfully? I wanted to become Miss Havisham. I wanted to be 80-years old and able to remember every last detail of those few hours I had had with him. I wanted to wear those clothes until they were rags, wanted to be able to tell the story over and over again to a generation not yet born, of what it was like when he touched me. How it felt when his tongue was in my mouth, or the laughter at the restaurant that night, how when I got up to use the restroom at the restaurant, I could feel his eyes caressing me as I walked away from him.
I wrote words and phrases down in a black notebook. The writing was schematic; the details were few. The words scalded me, but I wrote what I could, holding the pen as if it were the fire-end of a poker. But the words look. like. this.
Weeks later, I look at them, and they still burn. I do not want to be reminded of Yves' death, and yet, I know, I knowthat I have no choice.