I’ll tell you something I don’t often tell.
I’ll tell you what I’ve seen. What I see.
I’ll tell you.
White feet in white sand. My feet. His feet. His hand in my hand. Rough callouses of a rough life. Rough tides. Breakers breaking in rowed white caps. A dark hood pulling over a purple night. Starless. Vast. Black.
Slanted Camel. Kissed cigarettes. His hand in my hand. Drifting smoke. Echoing breakers breaking on white sand.
His rough hands traced my jaw. My ear. His mouth. He told me he loved me. He told me this. He took my hand then.
His rough hand. Torn bits of flesh. Scars. Rougher then than the day he died.
Rough ways. Rough hands. His love. Rough waves. He kissed them how he kissed me. Blue waves. Breakers breaking off Killers. Guns. Waxed.
Waxed. He shot dope. Black. I drove. Three AM. Driving. Riding. I watched. He rode.
His arms out. Bright white spume. Foaming fumes. He rode out past the lineup. Past me. Out past into the white. His gun drifting out past the horizon.
We have been here many times.
Not me and you.
Me and him.
You are not him. You will not be.
This is not your fault. It’s not.
It is his.
Let me tell you about him.
Rough. Rough ink on rough skin. I kissed them how I kissed him. I wish I could kiss them. I wish.
Long hair. Blonde. Streaks of bright light. Bright, but not white. He was bright. You would know if you saw him. You would see him through white.
Long legs in dark denim. Torn denim. Black leather. Silver ring. Silver earring. Silver eyes from an illness of the eye. He told me so. He told me how I tell you. To just me. To just you.
So I tell you.
You have dark hair.
You would look better blonde.
You think I’m stuck.
You think I’m not over him.
You think I’m stuck, but I’m not.
He rode with no leash. No tether. He was broken before the breakers and he had nothing to break in the breakers. Nothing but his gun and that didn’t break.
I asked him once.
I asked him what it’s like to be pulled under by a 20 footer. What it’s like to be pulled under with no leash. He said it’s like a great hand pulling you into a darkness too dark to see. Vast. Dark. He told me its darker than the dark that you see when you sleep. He told me your lungs burn in the darkness. He told me they’d hurt, but you can’t hear anything. You can’t hear yourself over the noise. He told me he liked to be pulled under. He told me he liked to go down where no one else was. Where no one else could save him and I let him.
The first time I rolled I asked him if this is what it was like. If this was what he saw when he was down there. He smiled and wrapped his arms around my arms. His sweat. My sweat. His lips. My neck.
He told me he’d take me with him. Hand in hand. We’d walk into the dark sea and he’d show me where I couldn’t see. He told me and he did. He took me in and he took me out.
I have not been where he has been.
You will not have been either.
You are a reflection of what was in him.
You are not a reflection of what is in me.
You are not.
But when I show you the mirror you will look and say, I do not see, and I will say, There. There it is. See.
Let me show you how I see.
We saw. 600 ug. Acid.
We sat hand in hand in white and sand. Bone white sand whiter than the whitest ivory. Oceans of white. Moving white. A great salt flat undulating and pulsating beneath a white light.
Heat. Scorching heat. White skin. He took my hand and pulled me in. Hand in hand. Vast and unrelenting. He took me in and he took me out.
Me and him.
I tell you this because I need to.
Because when I take you in it his him I will take out.
Robert Warf lives in Wichita, Kansas. He enjoys Emil Zenko, daiquiris, and rare flank steaks. He also has two collies, Mombo and Salsa. You can find him on Twitter @RWarfBurke.
image: Lindsay Hargrave