Author's Note: This is an odd little ditty that I remember writing but I don't remember why I wrote it or what mood I was in when I did so.  I found it the other day and finished it up, and it's sort of pointless and rambling (sort of like this Author's Note) but I liked the prose so I thought I'd post it just for laughs.  I've always sort of thought that Arnold and Helga would go their separate ways before "finding" each other or whatever, because distance is good, and I always had a vague idea of Arnold just completely irrationally leaving a perfectly good woman for Helga.  I dunno.  I know he's a good guy who probably wouldn't do that, but that's just my gut feeling.  Anyway, this is the "perfectly good woman's" side of the story, after he leaves.

Disclaimer: Arnold and his cronies are not mine.  Although you probably would have a hard time finding them in this piece without the Author's Note.  But they're still not mine.  Yeah.

This Boy

So you've been seeing him for about four years, four of your best years, four of your pretty young thing years when everything is still perky, and now he's gone (gone gone) and you think it hurts but you're not sure.

And you always used to know when it hurt before you met him but he confused you, he always confused you, this boy with the beautiful dreamy poet eyes and the callused hands, this boy with the smile that was never a smile but always a smile, this boy with the love that he threw around without ever caring where it landed.

You know you think you know he loved you sometimes all the time never maybe.  He loved you when you were running to him after not seeing him for weeks.  When you were singing in the shower and didn't know he was listening.  When you wore his clothes.

But now he's gone (gone gone) and you wonder if it's a blonde because his head always whipped around when a blonde went by, not a construction worker kind of look but a wondering look, as if she could be someone he knew, except you didn't know any blondes that he knew except the girl at the checkout counter at the supermarket and the girl in the apartment below and the rest weren't pretty enough to worry.  You never found the courage to ask him why (never found the courage to ask him a lot of things) but you looked at your dark hair and you felt suddenly ogreish and coarse.  You bought a blonde wig once to wear as a joke and you were afraid to come out and show him but he laughed and called your name so you came and he just stared, just stared until you thought you'd die, and you asked him to say something so he smiled but he didn't smile he just smiled and he pulled the wig off as gently as babies and he kissed your dark hair but you felt dirty and sad and when you made love you shut your eyes tight so you didn't see his face all full of hidden disappointment.

And the funny thing is that you never even liked blond hair anyway, not at all, except on him of course where it was exactly the color of warm.  You liked a lot of things on him that you never liked before, like quietness and blue-green and those big sad beautiful dreamy poet eyes.  You liked when he made love to you the way his hands felt, the way he breathed into every space and crevice, how every time he touched you was gentle and good even when it wasn't supposed to be gentle or good at all.  And at the moment you always wanted to look straight into his eyes—but they were always closed.

You realize now you didn't know much about him.  You thought you could read his heart, read his soul, but that was just a lie told by deep darting beautiful dreamy poet eyes.  You never met his family or saw where he grew up.  You never heard his stories though you knew he had stories, stories that would leave you breathless and you wouldn't believe even though you knew he never lied.  You never even knew his last name.

But now he's gone (gone gone) and you'll never find him again unless he finds you first, which was your joke always and forever except he didn't laugh like other people, didn't laugh because it was funny but not to make you feel better, just to laugh so maybe he could pretend he wasn't laughing just to pretend.

And you guess you know that you never loved him, not loved loved him like you couldn't see straight couldn't breathe couldn't think anything but gobs and gushes of him.  He was your treasure hunt, the secret door in the attic you always dreamt about as a kid but were always too afraid to go looking for because pirates and monsters and ghosts lurked on the other side.  And you loved him for the secret that he had and the pretty that he was and the gentle that he gave but you didn't love him for him and you know it.  And you feel guilty like a sin but you couldn't help it and if he didn't love you why should you feel bad for not loving him but maybe if you loved him he would love you but if he didn't it would hurt worse than it already does and now you're trapped in the circular logic that swept along in his wake like dolphins and clipper ships and you don't know but you just want out

And maybe that's what he gave you after all.  Out.  Except he didn't just leave, he went—went somewhere to look and maybe find and you don't know what because you didn't know anything really but you're not sure if you want him to find it or just keep looking forever like you're looking for answers right now.

You feel guilty again but then you remember his eyes, those goddamn precocious beautiful dreamy poet eyes, and you hate him, hate him for the confusion he dropped into your lap—you, who was never confused before.  You know if he came back right now you'd slam the door in his pretty face but you also know more that it's just wishful thinking because he's not coming back, not ever, and you're not sure if you want it to be you or not.  Because if it was another woman, a blonde, then how can you believe in any of the hours that you spent together?  But if he just left to get away from you, would that be worse?

So you sleep, and you cry, and you sleep some more, and you ask your mother and your girlfriends why and you gain four pounds on chocolate alone.  And you rub translucent the note he left even though you don't need to read the words you'll remember forever inside your brain forever anymore.  And words like sorry and remember and have to blur into nothingness sometimes and then stab out like knives just to make sure you can still hurt.  And She appreciates and it rains and rains for days and days and you just look out the window when you're not sleeping and hate men, especially him.

And then you wake up and stumble to vomit and hung over the white porcelain you know for the first time, for really and forever, that he would never hurt you.  And that he couldn't love you but he did love you as hard as he could even if it wasn't enough.  And you want to tell him that you know and that you understand, and you wonder if she's prettier than you but you know it doesn't matter because all she'll ever be to you is pirates and monsters and ghosts on the other side of the attic door.  In the treasure box. 

But you'll never tell his happy tragic beautiful dreamy poet eyes anything anymore because he's gone (gone gone).  It was four years, four of your best years, four of your pretty young thing years when everything was still a game but it's not a game anymore and he taught you that forever and a day.  You'd thank him but he's gone (gone gone) and you'll get by, but for now you think it hurts, just a little.

But you're not sure.