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East Side Gloam

Sometimes, all you can do is walk away.

I'm always watching his back. In those first days, it didn't seem so bad. He flowed like water over the ground, smooth and silent, and I trotted behind, my legs too short and the burdens I carried too heavy to let me move with the same speed. Still, he would turn and wait, always attending to my whereabouts, his smile both patient and ferocious with love.

Then, the ghosts of need came. Life became an interruption. Time isn't for each other, time is for selling to the business. Attention isn't for creativity, attention is for work-related problem-solving. We found ourselves on the street corner, staring angrily at each other as we fought to have the things we wanted, to move the couple that we are into the couple we thought we were going to become.

It's a struggle. I gave up so much for him. He gave up so much for us. We both want recognition of our sacrifices and a chance to claim what we can of the visions we had. He shoves his hands into his pockets, hunches his shoulders, and chooses a path, frustrated that I resist.

He's never been much of a communicator. He's a painter, a sculptor: I'm the word-smith. I close my eyes a moment, let a sigh sing into the air, and trot after him. The path he has chosen is the one I would take, with or without him. He hears me, I know, for his shoulders suddenly relax, and although he keeps flowing forward, his stride slows, and he looks around to make sure we'll be safe.

Sometimes, all you can do is run toward.

Story by:

Esme Benet

9 September 2012

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