The Woman From the Other Side

I miss the one I was before I knew. One time I stepped into the smelly bathroom because it was the only one vacant and as I turned on the light a large black spider ran from the door frame to under the toilet. And I knew. It knew it was in there with me, under the toilet, waiting. But there was no other bathroom and I really had to go, bladder ready to burst. In that moment, I wished I hadn’t seen that spider. I wish when I walked into the bathroom I had kept my gaze up, instead of down, and had never seen it. That way, when I used the bathroom I would have sinply uses the bathroom. But instead I was a twitching, jumpy mess in there, waiting for the spider that I knew was sharing breathing space with me, to come and bite my flesh. Of course it would have been the same if I hadn’t known. The spider still would be there, but my anxiety wouldn’t.
It is the same with him. I miss the one I was before I knew. Before. Before I knew how he slept and how he snored loud. Before I knew that he always cut his fingernails down to the nubs and before I knew that he smelled like cheap shampoo. Before I knew that he only liked to hold hands for about 5 minutes before he claimed his hands were going numb. I long for the one I was before I knew how his skin sizzled against mine. I miss the one I was before I had been seen by him. Before I was seen by him I had never been seen by anyone. Not even myself.
If I could, I would go back now. Not forever, but for just a moment. And I would look at myself. Really look at myself. I would examine every remarkable piece of me. Where my thighs meet my hips. Where my ears meet my head. Where my knees bend and my stomach dips and the birthmark on my shoulder blade. And I would bow to her. My creator. The me who existed first. The woman from before. I deserve to know her.


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