“Nobody will ever care about you as much I as do,” he said to me, for himself. 

This, I know, is impossible to state. He’s always doing that: making statements of fact which quantify the immeasurable or inform the ineffable or somehow (or other) cross over those all-important boundaries which separate words from meaning. He’s always doing this, throwing substance to the wind like so much useless chaff, preferring to enjoy each word in the vacuum of its individual resonance. He’s always behaving this way, igniting tiny explosions, and the carelessness of his overwrought expression makes my lip twitch. And not in a cool sexy way, like an ingénue fighting her way to first billing, but in quite another way altogether.

He’s looking at me now, eyes pleading, his face a screwed-up confusion between the two very different sentiments he’s expressing as one, smashed together in an incongruous and ultimately soggy emotional sandwich. He looks at me; challenging, insulting, baring his teeth, an ornery toddler kicking helplessly at a blue-veined parental ankle. And yet his purpose here, the jelly center buried beneath layers of molting pastry crust, is to keep me and resign me to the truth he knows, awaken me from the evil spell that’s stolen me away and return me to fat n’ happy Day-Glo devotion. Because I couldn’t possibly, couldn’t conceivably know what I want. And I’m so wrong. But, he says, when I realize this mistake, I can return. He will take me back; he says to me, for himself.

Words by: Adria Kloke
Illustration by: Seth Barnard