“Sometimes, I write suicide letters addressed to all the people I love.” Dorian had an abrupt way of vomiting out her thoughts and allowing them to spill across lighthearted conversations that were taking place. Perhaps it was her eyes that foreshadowed the onslaught of her awkward proclamations such as this one he thought. They were locked in a vacant stare out the window of the hotel room. It was as though she was watching the sprockets and cogs of the frost bitten British Columbian world outside move in their mechanical fashion without actually seeing them. She was somewhere else, in a present known only to her past. “It’s interesting you know, sifting through years of accumulated letters and rereading my momentary reasonings to choose death over life. I am able to reconsider all those defining instances in my past, where it felt like it was time to let the shadows swallow me as I stood in the center of what I assumed to be an ever consuming darkness.
James let her statement settle. Sometimes silence resonated louder than words he thought to himself.
Dorian continued, ignoring the deliberate melodramatic atmosphere she had created, “Each letter follows the same archetype. Apologies, thank you’s, regrets then apologies once more. I have always been such a sorry person, fuck, carrying around all this sorrow weighs heavy on me sometimes you know?”
James, weary from the bleak subject matter, decided to engage her intentional probing and spoke, “Why individual letter’s and not just a single all encompassing one? Suicide is a selfish act Dori, why do you care to write so many?”
Dorian rolled her eyes, she hated the nickname ‘Dori.’ She turned to look at him, “Because I’m fucking selfish, more so than I refuse to acknowledge most of the time. Plus, as sick as this sounds, I like the idea of knowing what my last words will be to the people I care about most. I care so much about what other people think of me, even in my moments when I am sure I will end my life, I need my words to weave an intricate web focused on distorting that persons perception of me, as a form reassurance, like maybe they will understand why I killed myself if I write it the right way.”
“The right way..” James echoed.
Dorian decided to take a step down from her soapbox as James clearly was not taking the bait and lit a cigarette. She hated James. The sight of him always foretold the certainty of sunset. The whisper of his presence extinguished out the varmint flame forever enamored in her pursuit, its fickle dependability searing the already scarred pieces of her flesh until his coming. His promise was the night. His shadow entangling all that was intangible in what still remained of the universe’s supposed existence into submission. His blackness always salaciously stalked her sordid heart by dangling before her but just out of reach, a faint recollection of a long sought refuge. She knew it as an ephemeral paradise found when within his presence and the shadow he draped over her world during their brief interludes.
Dorian decided to pursue a different approach, rolled over onto her stomach and met James’s gaze, “I only ever feel you in the darkness.”
James reached out and grabbed the cigarette pressed between her lips and put it out into the ashtray. She knew he could not stand the smell. He ignored her attempt at provoking him, “What do you mean?”
Dorian rolled over onto her back and stared up at the ceiling, “You have become this intangible concept to me that I can no longer see or hear or taste or even smell but that reverberates as this ongoing palpable experience in the shadowy caverns of my mind. All that you are, smuggled in shrouded whispers surrendered by the sun as it collapses into the blackened canopy enveloping all that has become of my existence. . . In the absence of an entirety, you set me free.”
“I’m sorry,” James knew where the conversation was headed.
“I am the one that is sorry. Every single day,” Dorian’s response blackened out any lightness left in the room. “Temptation seduces my resolve at continuing to exist anchored to this maddening reality, pining and in pursuit of a home I can only find within the space of my gait. I’ve come to consider my irresolute wandering an art form, and I am no longer driven to achieve purposeful displacement draped in shades despair from entangling with you for brief interludes while on my journey throughout the world.”
“But I love the innate beauty that inspires your ambiguous nature,” James spoke while running his fingers through her wild wavy hair. It was true, but he felt guilty he could not soften the reality of their relationship “We have so much fun together when are paths do intersect along both our adventures.”
Dorian pushed the side her face toward James’s hand, watching him as he began to stroke her temple with his thumb and responded, “For me, time has scalped the formula of what comprised all of those emotions and actions that were meant to remain unexpected for each other when engaging in our innate ugliness. Until recently I considered our intent to forever remain in a constant exchange of primally driven passing goodbyes poetically beautiful in a tragic sense. Unfortunately I have succumb to an emotional evolution, a testament to my failure at rewiring all those components required for indifference towards the idea of ‘us,’ leaving me with this mutated emotional progeny that I produced from the womb of what is expressly forbidden.”
James cast a sincere look as he stared down at Dorian, “That’s unfortunate. For me, we have never been up for auction to be bartered for or bought during the empty spaces of our calendared interludes. They were dates, signifying the day of the week and the month of the year, nothing more. We were not two souls searching for solidarity to manifest at any instance when our courses have intentionally collided. We were an exchange of energy that depended on the continuation of the foundation of our friendship we forged from a caste laced with lust whenever our paths would cross. The one truth to the idea of “us” and “we” is our resolve to remain friends. The excitement we feel for each other would be absent if we were to remain present in each other’s lives.”
Dorian knew this was coming. He always had a way of sounding sympathetic each time he shattered her heart a little bit more. I am carrying around a heart of sand at this point she thought to herself. This is it, this is the end of the Dorian he knows, she knew it this time.
Dorian grabbed her pants, stumbling from the slow motion in which she inserted one leg and then the other. She was not in a hurry to be anywhere other than where she already found herself. But knowing she needed to be anywhere else, she pulled her t-shirt on over her head and replied, “I had just hoped that maybe you too had fallen in love with the darkness.”
James fixated his gaze on the circadian rhythm of life outside the window of the hotel room. The inhabitants of Revelstoke were preparing for a storm soon to pile the town in another five feet of snow. Dorian knew he was envisioning and dismissing a future existing only in her fantasies, and never in his own. Her feet were outfitted in cement blocks as she made her way toward the hotel room door, reached into her purse, pulled out a clean white envelope and left it on top of his backpack as she turned the handle and met the cold air containing a reality without him outside the room.