Love and the Absence of Colour
I love you. I can see myself in your eyes, and it’s not just the reflection of my white face in your black pupils. Simple as that. Not many things are, but this is black and white.
We loved each other for a whole night, didn’t we? Well, I guess it wasn’t really even the night, was it? A morning, and only part of one, but the best part—the between- midnight-and-getting-out-of-bed part, the things that happen in the dark-fades-to-light hours.
I loved you the first time we spoke. It was at your party during that black night in your gray apartment on your white couch in my black-and-white dress when I wanted nothing more than to lie in your white room on your white bed and stare at the white ceiling and make gray clouds and think black thoughts with you.
We were drunk at the bar on that night we loved and I don’t quite know how we left together, but we did and proceeded to blacken our lungs outside under gray clouds. I opened your door easily, the one where the key sticks, a little trick of mine from a door I’d once known. You smiled as I entered your world. You showed me your drawings, excited to share, but I remembered them all from before—the wrinkly man and the vase face and the boring fashion model you’d said you could draw in your sleep. I asked you about your writing that you’d told me about before but that you didn’t remember telling me about, because you don’t tell people those things. You blushed in surprise and it was sweet, like I thought your lips might be.
I don’t know how it came to be that we kissed, but I wish that I did because it was lovely and I loved you there again on your couch. And I don’t know how we got to your bedroom, but I do remember being there and you went down on me and I went up on you and we moved together like we were on the sea and it was perfect and I could have had sex with you forever.
We had cigarettes and music on your white couch in our black scraps of clothing and we kept not sleeping even though we should have. We got to bed eventually, holding each other strangely close in the black night. I saw you that night and I saw you again in the morning as I woke and rolled over to stare at your white ceiling from your white sheets and you pulled me back over in your half-sleep, which I enjoyed more than most things. I loved you then as I ran my hand through your black hair, listening to your heart beat. I told you I’d drawn you in a dream, the sharp lines of your face that highlight your mouth, I said how it was perfect and you said that I was.
You are perfect in my head, where I can change the way things are to a certain this or that. I’ve loved you as the dream more than you as the man, the real man with undefinable shades of color. Life and having lived turns black and white to gray, but my heart and mind’s ache for absolutes has power over memory. Desire writes his name boldly over history. My romanticizing urge makes love out of lust, and it tells me this is true:
I loved you then and now, and it is as simple as black and white.
—Columnist Megan E. McKenzie can be reached at email@example.com.