• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 12
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I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that the light was still good. The sky was the same even if we weren't. My image was cut into sections in the almost uncracked mirror I'd found and propped against piles of your life. I looked as if a ladder was superimposed on me, an escape route for me to take myself out of the situation. This unnerved me so I moved to the left and had only rungs on my calves. I was naked so the effect of the light shining through the window slats was unavoidable to my eye, I had no clothes to absorb it and cover me then in darkness. That was the point of today. I'd waited a long time for this moment.

Maybe you'd been biding time too, finding stasis a comfort rather than a sign of neglect, cocooning yourself in the disintegration of the fibres of your being. I could taste the years of dust rolling around you and feel the mustard cloth of your special chair softening and breaking down in my mouth. This damp room was your diary and filled me with spores of your every halted thought and action. I was here to change that. To give you life again. Make me alive.

As I took out the surgical marker I was in that gallery with you again arguing about plastic surgery and female beauty. You scorned the slashes of surgery markings as not being real art but feminist propaganda. I loved her work so fought with you just enough to make you think I didn't love you. Then we started to believe it. Began to act like it more often. You asked to paint me, I said I was too busy to create pointless memories for you and that was pretty much that. We never spoke again but I heard you and felt you even if I never saw you. Today you would see everything you'd wanted then.



I take the marker and study myself in the mirror, working out exactly how my body tensed and rolled in what places back then. I mark the map of me that you wanted to paint. I push the rest of my body off my own canvas, ignoring it. It is superfluous and means nothing except barriers that I built around me. They're gone now. All that is left is the core of me that I've come to give to you. I score and line and loop my body together. I take one last look in the mirror and see the person I was with you. I pull myself taut and position myself on the chair where I wait for you to complete my outline, to shade in my contours. I sit in the position exactly as I imagine you would have got me to and feel you gauge the years. I sit immobile. I sit and allow myself to crumple into the chair. Only now can I truly feel that you are gone.