Ghosting in Place

It doesn’t start out
That way
It doesn’t start out sour at all
It turns slow like milk
That you thought you wanted
But wasn’t needed after all

It starts out with love
It begins with intimacy
However that came to be
Finding someone
Who can really meet me
For real

Not everyone can
And it doesn’t happen that much
In this world we built
Full of using each other
Games, scripts, and going through motions

So it’s precious
So precious that people turn it into something else
Try to bottle it up
And give it names
And expectations
Put locks on the windows and the doors

But it can disappear in an instant
Despite what you say
Won’t even know it’s gone
For a while

First it just looks like a bad day
A misfire
It looks like
Someone I love
Going through something hard
Needing to take care of business

You disappear
And I can understand it
Cause I know you
Love you
Can see it happening
Already ache with your pain
And wish I could fix it

But with the wear and tear
The weariness and withdrawl
You just don’t come round any more
Don’t have any extra to share
Shut down
Getting by

And there are reasons
Of course there are reasons
And they can’t really be rationalizations
Or excuses
If the reasons are real

All I asked
Is for you to be real

Of course I want you to survive
I want to help you thrive
Don’t want to be one more thing
In a long list of one more things
Want to give you space
To work it out
And take your time

We can do this
We can make it work

But you are also gone
Disappeared
Shut me out
And at some point “we” disappeared

But somehow we are still here
And we can’t know
Can’t know from up in the middle of it
If you will ever come back
Even if you mean to

You and me against the world
Your people will be my people
I just want to support you

All I know is they never came back
Before
Once they shut me out
And eventually they turn on me
Run me out for refusing
To submit
To the story that turned
Into a lie

Sometimes there is a part of the change that’s easier to talk about
Sometimes they deny anything changed at all
But it’s never actually about sex or schedules or whatever tangible thing gives us something to talk about

It’s really about ghosting in place
Maybe didn’t mean to leave
But you gone just the same
How we gonna work that out
Because I know what you capable of
And this isn’t it

Sometimes there’s a contract to be fulfilled
For better or worse

Sometimes I try to get by
Reminding myself
You don’t owe me anything at all

But eventually
It’s about how easily it gets twisted
‘Bout how hard it is to say
6 months
Or 10 years

Is there a course to be run?
A season that will turn?
Is it a sprint or a marathon or a never ending journey?

I know how to hold you close
Know how to let you go
Don’t know how to do this in between
The push and the pull of the almost there

Demanding that I stay open
Growing raw and broken from exposure
God knows we don’t need more drama
Please I can’t take any more drama
But it hurts just the same

Don’t want to send you away
Miss you too much already
But the strange invitations
And unfulfilled promises
Take their toll
Change something precious
Into dangerous exchange

End up asking me to kneel down
But you still standing
Asking me to open up
But you still closed off
You used to be someone
I could lean on

Slowly become a bad habit
Throwing me off balance
Find I am falling
And you just aren’t there
To catch me
Anymore
Reminding me day to day
You aren’t able
To meet me at all

And eventually you end up telling me
It’s too much to ask
But somehow I am the bad guy
For respecting your boundaries

At some point it doesn’t even matter any more
If you were trying for real
Or going through familiar motions
Still leave me
Stumbling around
Remembering some old story
On my own

There is a moment
When my script flips, too
My endurance, my unconditional
Transforms into weariness and intolerance

When your emptiness overcomes my longing
And I have to choose between being
This thing
You want me to be
And respecting the truth about myself

When I can no longer consent
Start to resent
How you turned me inside out
And then left me behind

I remember you
Remember how we were
And how it was precious
And how you turned
My loyalty into a burden

Don’t want to push you away
But here I am
It doesn’t do any good
To quietly let it turn
Sour
Like milk left for too long

When do you know when it’s finally too far gone?
How do you say it when you think it might be going bad?
Once the question comes is it already too late?
If it’s too close to be sure,
Does that mean it should be abandoned?

Better safe.than sorry,
We say about the milk
That might could still be useful.

All I know
For sure
Is that they never came back
Before
Once they shut me out

©2016 Chris Paige. All rights reserved.

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