how did this happen?

Have you ever found yourself in any place with any certain person and thought to yourself, “How did I get here?” or “How did we get here?” You know, those unexpected, “How the hell did this happen?” moments that kind of tilt the world a bit sideways. In a good way.

It’s probably happened to everybody on the planet at least once, thus shipping my question straight into rhetoric. But I’m writing this post anyway. I have to get it out of my head before it festers and makes my head hurt more than it already has…And I don’t mean hurt in a bad way. I mean a hurt more like a strategically bent cramp in a love-hurt, soul-cramp kind of way.

But one day, you’re sitting there, or lying there, and you look into someone’s eyes, and all you can think is, “Damn. This is me and you–” blink blink “–How did that happen?” And all you can do is laugh and shake your head because you don’t have strong possession of any words – especially any words that would explain the situation or come anywhere near close to help remotely describe how you feel. You internalize it, tell yourself you’ll think about it later.

You do. Then, all you can do is blush and giggle and force yourself to think about other things so your insides won’t get knotted. So then you pick up a book to read, and some of the dialogue or some of the narrative send you right back to those eyes and those internal thoughts. And you put the book down because all you can do is blush and giggle and force yourself to think about other things so your insides won’t get knotted.

And then the next morning you wake up to a text message, and all you can do is blush and giggle because your insides did get knotted. You just stand (or sit there) reading the screen over and over again and giggling like a thirteen-year-old with a crush. You tap your feet in something resembling a gleeful jazz move or something close as your thumbs fly over the keyboard to send out a return text. You close your eyes and realize you can think only in poetry. You toss the phone on the bed and dash to the shower so you can concentrate on soap and lather instead of what’s pulsing through your veins and eating away precious pieces of your mind. By now, not only did your insides get knotted but they’re starting to leak a little – thus the poetry, the purple prose, and the pieces of your mind that are dripping down the drain.

Even so, as soon as you’re dry enough, you race back to your phone to see if another text message has come. When one has – because one has – you throw yourself supine on the unmade bed, and your thumbs fly over the keyboard again. You tell yourself you’ll sit up and get dressed and go have breakfast and check your phone again later because all you can do lying there waiting is blush and giggle and feel your insides get knotted.

You brush your teeth. You check your phone.

You put on your deodorant. You check your phone.

You astringe your face. You check your phone.

You stand with one leg in and one leg out of your pants so you can respond to a text.

You make the bed. You check your phone.

You realize how difficult it is to crack and scramble eggs while your insides are knotted and you’re trying to type a text. Your words come out all sideways because, while trying not to get egg all over the phone, you placed your fingers on the wrong keys and didn’t notice before you pressed the send key. You blush and giggle.

This goes on for hours. You run into walls because your mind is somewhere else. You catch yourself daydreaming and sitting there not doing anything else because your mind is somewhere else. You realize hours later the fish didn’t get fed their breakfast – and it’s almost time for supper by now. People look at you because you’re kind of floating around dazed with a crazed look on your face. But you can’t tell them why because you still don’t have strong possession of any words – especially any words that would explain the situation or come anywhere near close to help remotely describe how you feel. You internalize it, tell yourself you’ll think about it later.

Then, near bedtime, the low battery signal on your phone starts to chime. All you can do is say goodnight, send love and kisses, shut down, and plugin to charge. Which is probably good because by then, you’ve passed way beyond blushing, giggling, and knotted insides. In bed, just like that thirteen-year-old, you pull the blankets up over your head and place a pillow over all of that. This doesn’t stop the oncoming giggles. You feel, through all of that, your partner and the cat staring at you, open-mouthed and as if you’ve completely cracked up. Maybe you have. But through all the blushing, giggling, and knotted insides, you’ve not had time to think because something else is on your mind and taking up all your precious processing space.

It’s been like this for what, three weeks now? And you know it’s not going to ‘get better’ any time soon. You aim for the kitchen because you need a drink and slam into the wall because your insides got knotted and you’ve not had time to think because something else is on your mind and taking up all your precious processing space…

Tugging a rhythm to the vision that’s in my head
Tugging a beat to the sight of you lying
So delighted with a new understanding
Something about a little evil that makes that
Unmistakable noise I was hearing
Unmistakable sound that I know so well
Spent and sighing with a look in your eye
Spent and sighing with a look on your face like…

~ Thinking of You, A Perfect Circle

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Author: Mari Adkins

Appalachian gothic fiction writer - my works reflect a love of literature flavored by the darkness and magic residing in these ancient mountains. In my spare time, I'm a Simmer, I tumbl, I journal, but I always have a very strange sense of humor. I have lived away from the mountains and lived deep in the mountains. I currently live in Central Kentucky with my lifepartner and his cat. The mountains, their culture, their superstitions, their particular magics, will always be in my blood.