I can’t help it – I want you because I don’t know how to not want you. I don’t like not knowing how to do things but incidentally no one has any helpful advice. Sometimes I wish I could just remove the want, extract it, but I get the feeling the want is not one of those things you can readily extract, like rotten teeth or slow-moving venom. The want is undulating somewhere in the ether. I tell myself I shouldn’t want you because you’re not mine, and I can understand all the sensible and convincing reasons I shouldn’t, but when it comes to the actual practice of not wanting you, something falls off that table of logic and splatters unceremoniously all over the floor.

I try to train myself to pass your name through my head neutral like everyone else’s but when I hear someone say it, or when I say it to myself like I do, my heart forgets what it’s doing and starts to pound in double bass, and it’s equal parts exciting and squirmy-uncomfortable, a lot like being somewhere uptight in the daytime but also being on drugs.
Everyone says that time is the answer but I honestly feel like time makes it worse.

I want you because I know you can make me forget about time.
I want you because you and I, the thought of you and I. Those letters forming those words, those words sticking together, the jellyfish swell and shrink in my chest when I think about what they mean. You and I could be something together, that’s why I want you. Something that’s made of us and also isn’t, something different, the way hydrogen and oxygen are indistinguishable in a molecule of water. And I know we can’t be anything, I know that, but when has knowing anything stopped me from feeling it? Knowing better stopped me from wanting it?
And I want you because I can’t have you: I want you so bad sometimes I don’t want you at all because I know that having you, keeping you would change you into something else, something neither of us ever want you to be. You’re not that type. Some moments I wish you were, for my own selfish and transient reasons, but then I know it wouldn’t be you anymore so I stop wishing. The truth is, I want you as you are, but I’m scared of wanting you like that because if I happen to slip, if I lose my footing, if I slip and spiral down the twisted tunnel of possibility and grab onto you too tightly, I know you’ll fold in on yourself and disappear without a memory; wither and blacken in my hands like fresh radium that disintegrates instantly when exposed to air.

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