Things I Would Have Swapped For Heart Shaped Sunglasses, 2001-2006

A little drabble, based loosely on a song by the same title. In fact, just inspired by the title.

They didn't have true love; they weren't soulmates. They had a flat and tangled legs and hot breath on his neck and coffee in the morning.

She had books and he had music, and those, they fit perfectly at least; one twisting coyly about the other, dancing and shifting focus; harmony, symmetry, everything; but he should never have let the synaesthesia get to him, because now he was lost and five years of his life were lost, lost to the soundtrack of stupid youth and the stink of literature. She curled up in his armchair with a book, and eventually folded so far into herself that she disappeared altogether.

They shared a lack of meaning; some coherency in the absence of significance - it had been easy. She wore perfume that meant nothing, he wrote songs for her with no value or sincerity. They went to festivals and screamed for bands they'd never heard of, she clinging and clawing at his back, with glasses in the shape of insincere hearts nested in her hair.

They had been happy, more or less.

But now that scent lingered - it haunted the edges of memory and curled down corridors of sealed remembrance. It refused to dissipate, it refused to solidify.

He could almost, but not quite, imagine it; except for those times when he smelled the coffee cradled in strangers' hands, and his heart lurched from lack, or maybe for lack; for the lack they had had, together.

Five years, in the grand scheme of things, was nothing. They, together, had been nothing. It was probably apt that he clutched at nothing too; at the stench of her perfume, at a torn birthday card used for a bookmark, at her misty, drunken eyes which precluded a teary rant or just defeat.

For all her books, she couldn't make them more or less than what they were.

And they were more or less nothing.

The End

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