Simon Thibault

May 1999

Something had been bothering me for months, something i had been unable to fully articulate until a few nights ago, it came to me in the form of this:

You know, I really don't want this to be one of those "I dreamt about you last night stories".

But that is what happened.

I don't think I'd ever dreamt about you before. In our dream (I say our dream because I want to include you in some aspect of my life) you sounded the same, but softer. You moved the same way, but with a grace I'd never attributed to you before. It was almost as if my dream was making you into a dream.

When you told me, "I don't care, I want to be there with you", I believed you. But I would never subject you to the nights of crying, to my own instigated solitude. To my own silence. I would never want you to be privy to that.

But my intentions didn't matter.

When, I saw you cry for the first time. It amazed me. I felt like a child watching an adult cry. Or perhaps you were the child, and I the adult. I knew that inside you, deep inside you was this small place which hid you. I would like to believe that we had been there, a few times, but we were blinded by our limits: those of our flesh and our fears. But sometimes, they would subside, and I would believe that I was seeing you, as you appear in that place. The same way in which someone appears in a memory. It was that sort of reality I was experiencing.

Seeing you cry made me into someone I didn't want to know, into someone who looked at you and said, "I did this to you."

I did this to you.

And then I began to cry, and I fell to the floor, and I couldn't help myself, and I lost it, and you tried to catch me and you fell, and I lost myself. I couldn't speak, if I could have bit off my tongue and swallowed it, I would've, I did not believe that I had the right to cry, especially not in front of you. I made the most pained noises, like a rabbit dying, howling for some relief that is only instants away, in the form of its own helpless dying struggle. I began to strike myself, my head.

I did this to you.

You calmed me down, put me to bed, and stayed there. The next morning, we awoke and you went off, I staying in bed. I went out that night, in search of you, I now believe. You'd read all my columns, all those things I wrote about myself, about those who loved me, who had found me, who had hurt me in ways I don't think I can fully perceive. You looked at me in a way that makes the night stop breathing and break into perfectly sliced pieces. And I almost did again, I almost started weeping. But you held me. I left, walked home, and went to bed. I saw you again, the next night and you asked me again, "is it over?". Knowing that if I answered yes, you would never speak to me again because that's the way you work.

I did this to you.

And now I see you everywhere. I see you and sometimes you acknowledge my prescience, and sometimes you look past me. There was one night, you were drunk and you looked at me the same way you used to in the dark of my room. It was a look I would like to believe was reserved for me.

I did this to you.

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