results, pt. 2


I remember once I was delirious with fever, and instead of staying home in bed like a smart person I decided I'd follow through with the plans I'd made with Alex the week before. It was something stupid--she was out of town and she promised to buy me ice cream when she got back. She noticed I was sick right away, of course, but when she asked if I was all right and I gave a weak "I'm fine, it looks worse than it is" she brushed it off.

This was back when Alex being gone was the worst thing that could happen to me, and I managed to endure a week of that because I had fixed in my brain the thought that at some point in the future we were going to get ice cream. But the moment was here, and I was barely able to focus on the fact that there even was a moment.

We sat in the corner of the ice cream parlor and she talked. She probably told me about her trip, but I couldn't understand any of the words. It was all I could do now to focus on the ice cream, the very thought of which had sustained me. Now it was my anchor to the real world, and Alex was just some dim memory, something that happened to someone else.

Later on she told me she had fond memories of that evening. "It was just so . . . so you, you know?" And I did know, but I don't think she really did. She didn't understand that this innocent plan we made helped me realize that the relationship I clung to so desperately was just an illusion--no more real than the fever dreams. And suddenly I wanted something tangible. I wanted something I could sink my teeth into, cold enough to make my head ache and send chills down my spine, sweet enough that that wouldn't stop me. She could never offer me anything more than an idea, I realized then, and somewhere in my heart I knew that ideas are just a prison.

Of course I'd never talk about this. It was a realization that took place subconsciously, and my waking mind spent all its energy trying to fight that realization. But everything changed from that point. All because we made plans.

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