Life Lessons from a Kleptomaniac : Sticky Fingers & Slipping Affection

by Charlotte E. Wilde

Something feels unnatural lately, like I’ve forgotten how to be entirely myself– too busy performing past versions of sigh-scattered trivialities, too busy trying to remember who I used to be. I find myself lingering hazily on the edges of some distant memory or moment that perhaps never really existed at all.

I remember the beginning. I wrote us like a story until fairytale-laden satisfaction was lost on me when reality’s happy endings found me panting, back against a wall. It’s true, my time is bided time– a self-proclaimed anti-hero strung out in the narcissism of my tale. The hea[r]t is a cold mistress but transcendance makes her bed and eats it too when cake crumbs lie in lectures learnt of our amalgamated love.

Still, I knew euphoria at the thought of such perfect pedantry. You teach me to never forget your smell or the tug of a pony-tail wrapped wrist. You teach me to right the wrongs of girlfriends past gone wildly astray and lay your lies like dirty laundry dirtier still in the middle of the night or skeletoned closet. Fittingly, such lessons flow both ways when the love made is anything but: you didn’t teach me what I need to survive the violence of your look, only the look of your back as you walk away.

I’ll be your huckleberry, audition as an autodidact complete with pockets brimming in stolen moments. No prodigy, this wishful protégé learned how to quit you quietly, how to scream your name without a sound. I learned to close the door silently on a love with hard limits but no hard re-set; let the scavengers pick through the body of our rapport, the rapport moi ton corps.

So you read in me a sprawling secondhand story of crudely sketched art where your chapter called itself forth in passion’s cautions traced. Damp walls spell warnings of pilfered poetry stained with the listless irony of a ‘santé’ poured out for a lorn sentiment where memories lost and found pile up like rubble around my feet. You’re a chalk outline, an “I told you so” imprinted for posterity on my ribs, a ka[r]ma-keep-your-sutra cave painting scrawled on stone. Our un-literal loving the unsellable sell, our perfect punctuation mark a full stop or exclamation of, “history repeats itself and we knew it all along.”