I Want You Around

True Tales of A Re­la­tion­ship in 10 Ra­mones Songs

Broken Pencil - - Table Of Contents - by Rachel Rosenberg

I WANNA BE Your Boyfriend When we met, I thought that you seemed sullen and you thought that I was a bitch. It was a cold, shitty grey af­ter­noon. As all Great Love Sto­ries be­gin.

Cretin Hop

I wasn’t dressed up be­cause the part of my brain that is meant to have cre­ative

Hal­loween ideas is un­der­de­vel­oped. That is what comes of be­ing Jewish with par­ents so anti-hal­loween that we’d have to shut off all the lights in the house and close the blinds so no one would show up look­ing for candy. I re­mem­ber ly­ing on the floor, my stom­ach pressed against the car­pet, try­ing to lis­ten through the win­dow to the sounds of trick or treat­ing.

So you, hav­ing had Hal­loween all your life, def­i­nitely had the up­per hand and made use of it. You were in the world’s cutest home­made skele­ton cos­tume.

We swirled, we Men-in-black-ed, we scuba-dived.

Rock and Roll High School

Once, dur­ing the ear­li­est days, I showed you my high-school-era note­books. We sat on my bed­room floor, our knees touch­ing. You begged me to show you more but then took one look at my 70s-punk-lyric-col­lage and the at­tempted por­trait I drew of Jonny Rot­ten and sighed.

You said, “High-school-you would never have spo­ken to High-school-me.”

In the be­gin­ning, you ex­pected of me so lit­tle.

I Want You Around

I kissed you at an anti-valen­tine’s party, which worked against my anti-valen­tine be­liefs be­cause now Fe­bru­ary 14th is our an­niver­sary.

I kissed you be­cause you liked Shake­speare and Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer, and when you looked at me I knew you no­ticed all my weird lit­tle meisms — my fake Nyc-ac­cent, the fact that when I ate bread I’d tap out the crumbs like I was ash­ing a cig­a­rette — and not just ‘cause I had big boobs and a mouth like a prison con­vict.

Your mouth tasted of the red licorice we’d shared ear­lier and the smallest tang of spiced rum. Your lips were the per­fect amount of soft.

I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

You had to go back to Eng­land and I had to stay where I was. My long-dis­tance phone-card be­came the wind be­neath my wings.

What did star-crossed lovers do be­fore Skype? Pre-cell phones?

Write tear-stained let­ters amid can­dle­light? Please.

To­day Your Love, To­mor­row the World

You and I spent 1 more year in Van­cou­ver, 4 months in Mon­treal, 3 days in New York and a week­end in Que­bec City. Then we went to Lon­don, where you’d got­ten into med­i­cal school. We also went for scat­tered days to Paris, Barcelona and Ed­in­burgh. Very con­ti­nen­tal.

Med­i­cal school lasts 5 years in the UK. I made it through 2 of them.

I Wanna Be Se­dated

I spent nights watch­ing Stephen Fry and Rus­sell Howard while you learned about carpal bones and uri­nol­ogy.

My phone never rang so all I had was you and a room full of Bri­tish co­me­di­ans. I’d hug my com­puter at night like it was my friend, the life­line I had to friends and fam­ily across the ocean.

The KKK Took My Baby Away

I got lost of­ten on cob­ble­stone streets amidst hun­dred-year-old build­ings.

Streets turned in cir­cles and so did I, grid­less.

I had no plans or time con­straints or any else­where to be. And I knew when I got home you’d be wait­ing, even if it was with your head in a gi­ant Anatomy text­book.

I Want You Around

Lon­don is the sort of place where peo­ple need to work con­stantly to live. Med­i­cal school is the kind of school where peo­ple need to study con­stantly to pass. I’d come home from work­ing at Sel­fridges, turn on the TV, and scream: there my place of employment was again: in Love Ac­tu­ally, on the news, in it’s own minis­eries star­ing Jeremy Piven. You’d lie in bed re­watch­ing clips of your favourite mu­si­cal num­bers from Glee.

Our re­la­tion­ship was like a plant that we kept for­get­ting to water reg­u­larly — its leaves were fuck­ing droopy.

Bl­itzkreig Bop

De­par­tures is eas­ily the sad­dest place in the world.

We use our phones to text to each other from op­po­site sides of se­cu­rity.

Board­ing be­gan as we typed, our faces buried in our phones: Oh! They boarded. I have to go! I love you! Hurry! Love! Bye! you type and run down the hall. bp

il­lus­tra­tion by Kat Pruss

Rachel Rosenberg cur­rently works as a li­brary tech­ni­cian, and is at least 73% in it for the easy ac­cess to books. At 13, she was pub­lished along­side Jen­nifer Love He­witt in‚ Chicken Soup For the Teenage Soul 2. More re­cent pub­li­ca­tions in­clude Lit­tle Fic­tion, Big Truth’s Re/coded an­thol­ogy, ar­ti­cles on the YUL.BUZZ blog.

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