on our way in the rain to a coffee shop, listening to an old favorite that always makes us cry.
An hour at a time softens into the beautiful, desperate closeness of our beginning
Years ago I let go of my brother's hand; I did not know how to love him. In the depths of his depression, of his addiction, hating himself, he did things that made it hard to stay, for us to love him.
He fell, and he died. We lost him forever.
I love my Andrew. My beloved king. And I am strong.
He holds me tight. We sleep heart to heart, so close I feel the beat of his blood, the brush of his eyelashes when he opens his eyes to kiss me.
It will take longer for him to heal himself, to do the work he's needed to do for decades. A long time ago he split himself into parts, performatively, and for protection. This is not uncommon.
I am the same in public and private; I know exactly who and what I am. My flag is proud and high.
But he knows the depth of my love now, for all of who & what he truly is. I know the depth of his love for me, for who & what I truly am.
Because I understand. I understand completely. I am not perfect; I've never wanted to be.
Read these words, and between them, Half Mast.
Go on now, and live your own life. A real life, in the sunlight.
You made a mistake, but people are not their mistakes. I forgive you.
Pauline West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance
ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.04)
ratings: 24 (avg rating 3.46)
Candlemoth Volume 2: How To Spend It
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.40)
Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.17)
Stalker: A Gothic Thriller
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)