Maintain A Little

I forget what it feels like to be happy.

I forget, and I'm better for the forgetting. You can't miss what you don't remember. You can't want it, or wake up at night reaching for something - someone - that isn't there, won't ever be there.

You can't be unhappy if you don't know what happy is.

As lies go, it's a good one. I like it. I try to live it. But sometimes...sometimes...

Sometimes, I wonder if I'm even here anymore. I wonder if there has ever been anything but this choking, twisting feeling of wrong.

Sometimes, I curl up on my bed and stare at the ceiling and I don't move, because if I do, everything inside me will break into tiny pieces. Don't move, don't breathe, don't be. It works. Sometimes.

Most times it doesn't.

I try to convince myself that things, it, I will get better. I know I will. But I don't believe it. It feels like I've been this way forever -- as it is, was, and ever shall be, world without end, amen.

God, I just want to feel good again.

I want to feel...something, anything. I want to feel Willow's hands on my body; I want to feel her mouth, open under mine, as we kiss and laugh and roll around like teenagers in love. I want to feel her back pressed up against my chest, and be lost in the smell of her shampoo.

She smells - smelled - like apples and lavender. Like home, and spring mornings, and everything good and right and peaceful.

I miss her. I miss her so much I don't know what to do with myself, except bury my head in the sand and pretend I don't feel anything at all.

I can't miss her if I can't remember why she was special. Truth defined by circumstance.

I don't miss her.

I don't.

I won't.

I fling myself into music, into band life, into Devon, into something I never was, never will be, but can pretend to.

Devon makes me laugh; he's always done that for me. He makes me feel, just a little, enough to remind me why feeling is so good. Devon buys me wacky stuff like an electric blue feather boa and tells me -- without laughing -- that I look absolutely fabulous, darling.

He crawls into bed with me -- blindly, stupidly drunk and high out of his mind -- and wraps his arm around my waist and falls asleep, drooling into my pillow.

He wakes up, embarrassed and indignant, and accuses me of corrupting him. He reminds me that not everything is about Willow, and that it never was. He knows everything about me, like Jeff and terminal fur, and he teases me and keeps things in perspective.

Devon reminds me that life can be good sometimes. Especially when life involves plastic lightsabers and happy-making brownies.

He forces me to remember being happy.

I really hate him for that.