You Drink Too Much,
But I'll Still Come Running
Where did it all begin, people always ask. In the beginning. In the beginning, there was breath. We breathed in, and the air parched your throat. In the beginning, there was breath, and then there was thirst, so you mixed a vodka tonic and asked me my name.
Or I suppose I just told you my name because I was already getting ready for the running start, tripping head over heels. I made the jump immediately and it was instantly grand, free falling and all I see is the blue of the sky and all I feel is the rush of the air around me. There is no direction in the fall. There is no down. It is all movement, all possibility, with the force of the wind against my body, just myself moving onward, forward, and I think, yes, I remember, this is the moment of birth—a slight step or a leap and the world moves with me, together, me and all of this world and all of this air, all together moving breathlessly.
There is no down until there is the ground and the moment when a fleck of skin first lightly brushes the bottom. It is always a bloody mess when we get to the down and I leave you with strands of hair, remains of a body that thought it could dive into an abyss and remain unscathed. You pick the hair off of your chest and off of the pillow beside you. You take a shower, mix another drink.
But that is not the end, and there you are, offering a glass that contains little ice, and yes, I accept, because we both know it is easier to stand in the pain of the bottom with a vodka tonic in hand. And there I am again looking at you, and I think, yes, this is the time. Me, and you in front of me, and I reach to touch your shoulder and I know that if you reach back I will be ready to jump again. There is more and more vodka but it is you who tell me that our addictions run deep, but I have already jumped again, though this time, I can see the rocks at the bottom, but for now I close my eyes and feel myself rushing through space and my skin is alive with the chill of the air and there is no breath because my lungs and my body and the world and the air around are all breath. The fall is free, and I cannot help but to jump, ready again to feel reborn, to fill my lungs with air.
Heather Momyer lives in Chicago where she teaches writing and literature and acts as the Nonfiction Editor of Requited. Her work appears, or is forthcoming, in Moria, 303 Magazine, Exquisite Corpse, wordriver, PANK, decomP, and other journals.