In the beginning, sometimes, I wrote “I love you” in the street.
I dipped my finger in a puddle and wrote you a love letter, of sorts.
Although I don’t believe you ever got to read it.
The I evaporated before I got to the you, you see.
I wrote other messages, as well. Once, it was “I am hiding from you.”
That was because I had taken a route specifically to not remind myself of you. I’m not sure that it was effective; I obviously thought about you when I wrote it.
Also, it gets hard in this city to take a route that doesn’t remind me of you. The city being not quite big enough to forget in.
Especially for a wanderer, like myself. Wandering being the best speed at which to remember things.
You didn’t find me, the time I told you I was hiding.
Which wasn’t surprising really, considering I experienced the same problem as the other times.
The I evaporating prematurely again.
So, in the beginning, I kept going back over the I. Over and over, so that my finger got dirty from being dragged across the cement. Sometimes it bled a little. I stayed to see if something would resemble an I, but nothing ever did.
So, I never quite got to write “I love you” in the street, now that I think about it.
No, that’s not it. I never got to finish writing “I love you” in the street.
Which is rather a different thing altogether.
I never quite made it to you. Constantly re-writing the I, as I did. And so I eventually just gave up, or the puddle evaporated. I can’t remember which.
Evaporating is a kind of forgetting, I sometimes thought.
And it was the I that evaporated, not the you.
No one stopped to watch me, incidentally, when I wrote messages in the street. Reading and writing are such private affairs, I suppose.
One time I had a very important message to write, but there were no puddles. I can’t remember now what the message was, and by the time it rained again, I had forgetten.
And then I clearly remember waking up one morning to the smell of chlorine in the air and thinking today it will rain.
And then remembering that there was something that I had wanted to write. But that I’d not been able to write it when I thought of it due to a lack of puddles.
But also not at that moment being able to remember what I would have written if there were puddles.
And not being able to wander, either, because of the rain.
Hopeless, I thought.
After that, I took to carrying water on me whenever I walked the streets.
I worked out the basic problem, however, after a while. It was that I could never be sure that I referred to me, exactly.
The other choice, or at least how I saw it, was to write Kelli.
But, if I couldn’t write I without it disappearing, how would I get through Kelli?
Not to mention that Kelli is far less specific than I.
Hardly use Kelli to refer to myself. Not being in the habit of speaking in third person.
At least when it’s only me around.
And really, I have no relation to the name Kelli. Except that I have to repeat it when asked if I have one.
Not that that happens much anymore.
And this inevitably involves me spelling it.
When asked about my name, and if I have one, I mean. It’s not that it’s difficult to spell, but best be thorough in these matters.
Always a drama.
Yes, Kelli with an I, I inevitably say.
So, I’ve found, it is just easier to name myself I.
And I is far more useful than Kelli, after all.
The constant monologue does get tiresome, I admit.
But I try not to think about it in that way.
Once, I thought I got lost while wandering through the city.
But then I remembered that the directions I wrote to myself had more than likely evaporated.
I ceased worrying after that.
Things evaporate, I wrote.
Which really meant that I stopped getting lost.
Or to be more precise, I realised that where I was had ceased to matter.
Since then, I’ve stopped thinking about that too.
There was a time when I thought I forgot about you. I hadn’t seen you in my messages for quite a while.
Things evaporate, I thought.
But having never written you meant I wasn’t quite sure if that happened or not.
I want to touch you, would be what I’d say if I met you on the street. Probably, I’d try to be more polite: I would like to touch you please.
I’ve taken a lover, being the other alternative.
Things become awkward, in situations like these.
Words are just failed sounds, anyway, or so someone once said.
Words are failed sounds and sounds are failed meanings. I don’t know which is better, when I take the time to think about it.
I would like to poke little failures into your meaninglessness. The most eloquent way of dealing with the confusion.
To say that if we met on the street.
Seem to have such trouble with pronouns, these days.
It being much harder to use the first person in situations like these.
Sometimes, in the beginning, wrote something in the street.
Someone once described writing as bleeding. Can’t remember who, but I am sure they are quite famous. Or were quite famous. It’s best to be accurate with these things.
Something must be bleeding now, yes?
And was that really what was happening when the messages were written in the street?
Why wait for rain, then?
In the beginning, don’t remember the blood.
Seems a normal thing to forget.
Must have been a lot, in the beginning.
Remarkable what can be forgotten.
Best not wander in circumstances like these.
Try not to watch what hands are doing.
Tiring things disappearing all the time.
Fingers bruised from writing too much.
Nothing left inside the head.
No more puddles.
Forgot the water.
Things heave quietly.
Why does it bleed so much?
Lies there. Doing nothing. Saying nothing.
Finger dips into wound.
I love you.