They say that some of us are given to a past that we cannot untangle. There are moments of it that wind around us as we go about our present and although we can’t see the threads, they bind us to the things we were and hold us from what is becoming as tightly as our mothers held us in our infancy.

Today, the thread is tangled around him as he pours his tea into a worn blue mug. It sits cooling on the desk next to him, untouched as he scratches out the message he’s written again and again, piles of discarded words at his side littering the floor and covering the wooden surface, otherwise the room is immaculate and he is alone but for the ink and what it cannot convey.

She’ll be here soon. Will these words be enough? Strong enough? He tries not to think about the way the light and shadows will play off her hair or the way the red of her lips can stain his from across a room without a touch. He’ll leave these words on the desk next to the blue mug and walk away. This time he’ll have the strength. But the words won’t come and the pile grows high as the tea grows cold. The thread is taut and threatens to strangle him.

Here it is now. A final draft. The words on the paper as good as any he’s ever given her. The things he’s meant to say a thousand times again and again but the threads have always yanked him back from the edge. Tying his hands to hers. His lips to hers. His arms tight around hers not his own, but the threads, keeping him in this place. A place he hasn’t belonged in so long he’s not even sure where the pictures on the walls of a smiling version of himself came from.

Here, at last are the words that cut the threads of the past. He places the sheets of paper on the counter and weigh them down with the blue mug and a wet ring stains one corner. He hesitates, but leaves it. She’ll be here soon and those hands and her voice and those words she’ll say will be new threads holding him here.

Each word is a razor. Each word snips and slices away the binding, tangled thread that loops around him tightly holding him in place as he walks this way down the hall. As he opens the door and goes through it. He feels the unraveling now. The lightness that seeps in. He is bound to this moment. Tightly now new threads wind around him.

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