One day I’ll wash the inside of my sunroof.
One day I’ll allow it to be touched again.
But for now, I’ll sit under it in the dim lights of this parking lot and search for our fingerprints. With my drivers side seat back, I’ll scan for shapes.
Staring at the faded smudges our careless fingers once made. Infinity and symbols we used to draw beneath rainy windshields with covers and arms to keep us warm.
One day I’ll wash it, but not tonight.
Tonight, I’ll just remember.
My dad tells me to be treated like a pearl, a gem even by the man I choose to date and eventually marry.
This is the same dad who lectures me to the point of removing the phone from my ear to the point where I only hear his muffled mumbles at a distance and breathes that I can fill with the appropriate, “okay.”
So why am I listening this time?
Why does this advice matter so much?
Is it because I’m terrified of living a life of sufficing apologies and tension filled rooms?
Of being taught like a child at every turn and left feeling inadequate?
Is it because the man who I’m choosing to be with now has the potential to leave me that way?
To leave me complement and flowerless?
Left to crave any glance from others to know I’m still desirable.
Left to insult myself to hear otherwise, which is actually an insult to intelligence and self-esteem.
Left to apologize for things I don’t regret and words I meant but simply try to magnetize back with a “sorry.”
I feel like I’m pouring water into a bottomless bucket.
Energy that is expendable but never truly used for light.
Love that’s lost and never truly returned in adoration.
They say the right passion can start a fire.
Maybe that’s where my wasted water went.
That I’m the last thing to spark a match or even the slightest desire.
Maybe that’s why I’m listening.
Maybe my dad isn’t the only one telling me otherwise.
Maybe me loving a man more than anything isn’t enough, if the sound of a door shutting makes me nervous.
I’d like to hear a door shut and know he’ll always be back.
Maybe it’s not really the door.