In-Between Alphabet: P is for Per

Mar 17 2014

Per is exacting, but in a general sort of way.  It likes distilling large amounts of data into compact packages, sets the figures marching in neat configured lines so that they all blur together into one organized mass instead of the individual parts they are.  Per much prefers the forest to the trees, but only if the forests are sorted by rainfall and elevation and density, and only if completely attributed to it in the first place anyways. 

She says Per, and he yells back at her, “Stop it.  Stop categorizing me.  Stop analyzing my every action and reaction and putting them in neatly-labeled boxes.  I’m not an either/or.  I’m not a blip on a bell curve.  I am me, in all my complicated vagueness. I am a gray-colored mass of indescribable me-ness.”  The color drains from her face, from her lips which press together until they disappear.  Her hands splay out in front of her in surprise.  She doesn’t understand, and it makes everything worse, because she’s the one who’s supposed to understand.  He’s not sure why it’s this instance that sets him off and not another.  It doesn’t matter as he stomps away to the computer, covering his ears with headphones in hopes the loud music will drown out the sound the vibrating hurt he left in his wake.  He can’t help her.  Not with a matching pain vibrating through his core.  She touches his shoulder but he stays stiff.  “I just need to be alone now,” he says, hoping to clear his mind,needing to curl into himself until there is nothing in this world touching him.  She walks away, and he is glad.  Slowly, too slowly, the hurt ebbs away, and when he slips into bed, beside her rigid form, he touches her shoulder in apology.  She rolls over and molds her body to the sharp corners of his.  Holding her close, he contemplates the complicated creature in his arms, and how he’s glad she can’t be categorized either, because it means she’s worth knowing, worth falling into bed with, worth all the heartache.  She doesn’t say Per for a long time afterwards. 

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