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A Case of You, Joni Mitchell

It’s the moment you’re gone that hurts the most; starting over from goodbye, painful seconds, reflective minutes, idle hours staring through the windowpane while I question where in the world you might go. In this quiet hollowness, the memories come: watching you lose yourself in the mirror where you apply your makeup, or in the closet as you rifle through clothes in search of the right match; that crooked look on your face when you’re drunk; your silent laugh when you crack up uncontrollably. And what of the times you placed your legs over mine when you needed room on the couch to stretch?

In the reliving of these memories, you become a deity built on empty prayers, me on the pedestal of supreme indignation, wondering how to weld our lost years into a rebuilding hammer.

Your scents impressed my sheets once; they found a home there in the fluffs and billows of Egyptian cotton. Temporary, though, was the nature of those smells – the leaden fragrances of an old life, never the future’s perfume. Nights spent with other women took your smell right out and left the stench of one night stands. You know the song: clumsy morning after goodbyes, the long shower, a story retold to friends at the bar.

Thinking of you is like having an itch with no place to scratch. I scrape myself red looking for the source of the agitation. And fingernails will never do. There’s nothing to claw my way back into.

The last thing you said to me trailed you as you walked away. I reached for those disappearing words and tried to yank you back, my yo-yo girl with the broken hinge, but my fingertips only held cut strings coiling on the lonesome floor…

…and you were gone by then, wildly gone…

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18 thoughts on “What Hurts the Most

  1. “Thinking of you is like having an itch with no place to scratch. I scrape myself red looking for the source of the agitation. And fingernails will never do. There’s nothing to claw my way back into.”

    I miss someone. The kind of ‘miss’ you so eloquently described. I felt every lines. I almost cry. Kudos for this.

    • Hi Maya…thank you so much for the wonderful comment. When I wrote this, I was definitely in a world of hurt. Sometimes vulnerable times make for the best writing. Hope you are doing well 🙂

    • Thank you for the wonderful comment. It honestly makes me incredibly happy that you were able to connect with this piece. It was a difficult one for me to write, given the subject matter, but I’m glad that it resonated so well with you. Cheers!

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