Safe: Wherever I Am With You

Safe: Wherever I am with you


Compare it to control and it becomes just another illusion.

I’m an alcoholic. I feel safe with a pint in my hand and two already resting comfortably in my gut. I’m an anorexic. I feel safe completely empty. I’m bulimic. I feel safe with measuring spoons and scales and hiding behind low fat labels and low-cal menus. I feel safe—because I don’t feel out of control.


It is so far, far away that it is Once Upon a Time. It is past and future; some ideal truth, floating detached from reality—inside of my head.

I am safe when I round third base and come sliding into Home.

I am safe when I am everywhere that is not home. I hate that place. My mom and dad, cigarette stained upholstery and vodka insults, slurred over Happy Birthday to You.

 But safety is complicated. I feel safe when I walk down an alley at night—haunted by shadows—because daddy is there. But ask daddy…he will tell you how he doesn’t feel safe in the dark.

But, in the dark, I feel safe. My head buried underneath bed sheets at night, hidden from monsters and the living room light that creeps under the door. On the other side arguments roar and the sound of glass shattering sneaks into my ears—and in the other room—glass is shattering.

At my house, inside those evil walls, I am squeezed underneath my bed, in between floor and frame and talking with my best friend behind my tears—stroking his paw while he listens. And I am safe.


It’s a place: My grandmother’s kitchen, a dirty tree house, the soft bed I was in the first time I ever had sex. It’s a thing: a lock on a door or a seat belt or a condom. It’s a person: a policeman, a paramedic, a lover, a soldier, a father who never left.


It’s an Idea. It’s a picture.

It’s quick snapshots, grainy black and white photos and random scenes of the past and future, strung together like a documentary in old sepia frames. There is music that plays as the short clips pass and then transform into the fading in and fading out of photographs—myself with another.

The projector in the dimly lit theatre clicks and reels roll—and there we are in Film Noir, dirty saxophone sounds and rainy city streets; entwined in one another’s arms walking shoulder to shoulder in damp night light.

I am tangled up with her, like constricting boas shedding our skin, our flesh rubbed raw from love.

Then the faded color of washed out images, like a home movie, plays as we sit in red pseudo-velvet seats. We are unpacking boxes in an empty living room. We are driving in the countryside, a little bored and tired of talking, but you are pensive in the window—and I smile. Vacationing in Spain. Keeping our love a quiet secret under a table, at the back of that café in Paris, the cab in New York, on your mother’s couch—that beach in Oregon in the middle of the day.

Your light head held up by my chest, it subtly rises and falls and you let your full weight rest on me. You force our fingers to lace together late at night in bed and turn your face into my neck to flicker your eyelashes on my sensitive collar. You are seductive and sensual, whispering softly the felt fears of your day to come.

I am safe because she is safe.

I am safe because, in between her own anxiety she asks the questions that tease out the thread which make up the fabric of my being. She holds it all up in a ball of yarn in her hand. And only she can knit me back together.

I am safe because she is a window and a mirror. She lets me look inside of her and also reflects myself back at me. Through the window I have seen all of her. I have seen her life unfold from the beginning until now. I have watched her open her first presents as a young girl, yell at her own father in a sixteen year-old accent, climb out that window and run away from home. I have watched her undress, get caught, and fall in love. And she has seen me. She has reflected back at me in her eyes—my life. She knows me. I am safe because she knows who I am. I am safe because I know who I am—when I am with her.

I am safe wherever I am with her.


Compare it to trust and it leads you to vulnerability. Compare it to vulnerability and you will eventually find yourself at intimacy—and desire and need and connection—and love.


When I am with her I am safe—or at least I can imagine it that way.


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