Missing You While Watching Misery
I’m the writer, but it’s you I imagine tied to the bed,
legs unable to move, trapped by a mad woman
like all the mad women of literature that have come
before her. I can see you planning your escape,
wheeling around the house, frantically storing knives
in your arm sling, and it would be just like you
to knock over that penguin and not think to place
it facing the correct direction. Of course, it’s hard
to picture you in that hobbling scene that makes
everyone so uncomfortable, but I can understand
not wanting to lose a man, and sometimes love hurts.
In reality, you are visiting your parents in Indiana,
and I’m here in Florida in the heat of summer
missing you and watching Annie Wilkes force Paul
to write another novel, to bring his heroine back
to life like I bring you to life here on this page,
even though you are 800 miles away, and I have no
idea what you are actually doing, or who you are with?
Two weeks is a long time for men who have spent
almost every single day together for nearly seven years—
we have a life, a routine, an intimacy in this apartment
where Paul types away on our big screen TV.
It’s enough to make the sane insane, because everybody
needs somebody. I almost sympathize with Annie
and her pig (a pet I’ve always wanted) or maybe
it’s just my love of Kathy Bates coming through.
Love is love, even if it’s forced, or confused,
or one-sided. On the telephone we proclaim how much
we miss the other, rattle off all the dirty things
we want to do to the other’s body, and how lonely
beds can be, which makes us feel silly, codependent,
like lost boys who will never grow up or find
their way back home. Thankfully, we have planes,
tickets, schedules. Annie is bloody now. Paul
just whacked her with his typewriter (the one missing
the letter N), but you know she’s not dead yet,
because madness doesn’t end that quickly. She’s got
a few more minutes, a few more blows before life
gives up on her. Did she ever really stand a chance?
Do we? When you return, I’ll take you to our bed,
use the straps we bought at the sex store, tie your legs
in the air, and make you mine. This we will call sexy.
This we will call love.