I think about crawling into Arizona’s skin. It would be easiest to go through her eyes. A few years ago, I read an article about a girl who while on meth performed self-enucleation. Her pastor found her screaming, “I want to see the light,” while holding her eyes in her hands. I don’t want to hurt Arizona, but I think if I could slip inside, we would be easier.
Before our alarms go off, she has a headache, so she presses her palms against her face and groans. I mirror it to make her feel like our emotional bond is strong.
“Do you want some Advil?” I ask.
She shakes her head.
We don’t say anything else because maybe, after eight months, there is nothing left to say. Instead, we lay down shoulder to shoulder and try to not touch each other.
Outside, the flowers are coming back to the trees, and I watch them without moving. If we were forced to stay in bed like this forever, it wouldn’t be terrible, but I wouldn’t volunteer to do it. An alarm is waiting to make us move in a few minutes. Tomorrow, I will get on a plane and then we will never be in love again.
I turn to look at her. If I could get to her core, I could grab the headache and pluck it out. Back when we were more in love than this, I would place my head in her lap and she would tweeze my eyebrows. When I shower at her place, I leave long strings of my hair all over her apartment, so that she’ll have to remember me.
Last night, we watched a horror movie and she closed her eyes the entire time. As the girl on screen chewed on a finger like a drumstick, she said that we don’t have any of the same interests. I asked if that was a bad thing.
After the alarms, Arizona’s headache stops, and she asks if I want something to eat. I kiss her cheek, just under her eye.
“No, I’m okay. I don’t really want to get up.”
She nods and unsticks the mess our legs have made; our skin peeling apart with sweat.
“I’m going to make eggs.”
She gets up and walks into the kitchen. I roll over onto her side of the bed and imagine how warm I would be inside of her. I wonder where we could hide the zipper that I would use to get in and out; how I could shrink for the extra three inches.
On our third date, we sat in a pierogi shop until 4 am. Over blue cups of sour cream and onions, I told her about my murdered uncles. I said, “It’s twenty years this month and I feel like I am supposed to be more upset, but I didn’t even know them.” She didn’t say anything, and at the time, I imagined that meant that she was digesting me completely.
When I don’t hear anything from the kitchen besides the bursts of hot oil and the fridge opening and closing, I get up.
I bite her shoulder as she cooks. I am supposed to be in love to the point that I can’t help but want to put my teeth around her.
Arizona shrugs herself out of my mouth and makes her eggs, scrambled.
“Do you ever think about how yolks are fetuses?” I say into her hair.
I want her to want me like this. Or for her to pretend to want me like this. My deep desire to amalgamate controlling everything and every thought. I want to see what the reciprocation feels like.
After tomorrow, Arizona and I are not going to see each other for two months. I know that she won’t write me any letters. A dull, persistent pang births at the base of my throat and seeps into the rest of me. I move to the table.
“Would you ever eat your own body?” I ask her.
“What?” She turns away from the frying pan. Her invitation to crawl into me is open. “Why would you even think of that?”
I tell her that I read an article about a man who had his leg amputated and he kept it to make tacos. He invited his friends over, and they all ate him. I add that I wouldn’t do it, but I don’t believe myself.
She turns around and flips off the heat.
There is a cup of juice from the day before on the table and I want it inside of me. Last night, I asked Arizona to put her fingers in my mouth or around my neck; she didn’t and then we both cried.
In a few months, in a bathtub in Cheyenne, she will tell me, “You said we were soulmates, and I wanted to believe you. But I think I’m just someone who loved you without being mean.”
She slides the eggs onto a plate and squeezes some ketchup on the side. Then, she sits down at the table with me and looks into me. I put my feet on her thighs to see if she will do anything.