tw: very abstract and brief reference to strangling
a. Tell me something about you.
you is the fleeting state of the person I'm talking to. you wear it like a stethoscope around your neck, a wordless acknowledgement that we both have heartbeats. and for a moment you listen to mine, even though we try to obscure this transaction by a blood-rush of meaningless chatter. Please elaborate on your answer.
you is the make-pretend game of we're gossiping about them now, but I'd never gossip about you. you is the temporary, unreliable half of we. we exchange words and pulses the way children slip beads onto a necklace, loosely and disorganized and distracted by the way scissor blades whoosh against each other. then we run out of time, I cut the string, beads bleed onto the floor, and you leave to join a different we. and suddenly you're them and I'm back to singular me: and somehow this isn't betrayal, somehow every interaction that feels a bit like a promise is understood to be just a knotted length of necklace that is soon frayed and forgotten and thrown into the scraps bin.
and now you are gone. and now you is the voice in my head, the whisper that wraps itself around my throat so that I can feel my veins throb against a tight murmur. you tell me my pulse was too messy, too rushed, say my beads were too rough to hold. you say they will empty their pockets of all my beads, my pieces, my bits of thread, the moment they're out of eyeshot. every remnant of we, you say, will feel like papercuts under their fingernails and they will dig them out with disgust. even when they try to forget you, you say, they will be stuck with a lingering impression of everything you said wrong. you know I'm right, you say - you know I'm the safest you to make a we.
something about you: I don't know who I am.