Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Me, I'm fresh on your pages
Secret thinker sometimes listening aloud.
Someone like you should not be allowed to start
any fires"

I don't remember making a wish. I doubt I even made the attempt to construct a wish silently in my head. Instead, I dug my face into the warmth of the flames and thought of how my life is almost all figured out, even though it's not. This isn't the world I imagined creating. But considering the aforesaid detail, gravity is pushing and pulling me, aligning the elements of my little, disconnected world in a dizzying array of change. Having said that, I have yet to figure out where it is I should go from here.

My key ring is one key heavier and my clothes have found a new set of dresser drawers. These measures were, of course, intended to make everything easier. I am just now beginning to realize that this has the potential to over complicate even the simplest of things. I'm living between two houses. I've become a gypsy, even though I long for some sort of permanence.

We were seated on the brim of a shopping mall fountain. I wanted to dream, he wanted reality. A car ride full of I'm sorry" and "I don't know." He pulled up to the house, dropping me off to gather my suitcase (a relic of my gypsy lifestyle.) My stomach fell and the urge to vomit was the only thing I could make sense of. I slammed the door and he drove off. I stood on the steps, new key in hand, watching tail lights disappear down the tree lined street. There was an instant where I believed that it was the end. We met an hour later on familiar ground and ate a forgiving lunch. This was just a taste of what would come a few days later...and a few days after that.

Lying alone in the old bed, in the new house, I found myself alone and restlessly unmotivated. Feeling this way has been a persistent visitor the past few weeks. No matter when I am able to fall asleep or when I wake up, my body insists that I need more rest. Be it the shift in the weather or the shifting tide within, I don't enjoy this feeling of fatigue. I reap no satisfaction from this uninvited lethargy. By the time he came home, I hadn't accomplished anything. Not a single typewritten sentence, not a centimeter of progress. I saw nothing wrong with this, seeing that my body's desire to move at a sloth like pace overruled my fading inspiration. And then it came. I remember every word that was said, but even more than that I remember sitting on the edge of the bed, holding my stomach, actively instructing my body to keep breathing. "There's no future for us." Never in my life could I compare that aching, ruinous sensation of disappointment to anything I've ever felt before. It's hard to recover from.

My personality is a hazard, or so I am convinced. When I was a child, while my parents were screaming obscenities, hitting one another, my defense mechanism was simple. I would duck into the safest corner, cover my ears with my hands and yell "I don't wanna hear it!" I would close my eyes as tight as I knew how, repeating those five words over and over, hoping desperately that when I opened my eyes it would be over; they they would respect my plea. But it never ended. My strategy never once worked, or promised to fix anything. This is where I am now. It was midnight. "I think you should leave." So, I left without leaving. I sat in my car for an hour, perhaps longer. I can't explain the disappointment of hearing a screen door open and shut, only to realize that the sound came from the neighbors front porch. I thought about sleeping in my car, but a friend convinced me not to. On the drive home my car stalled while going 85mph. I'm not sure how that pertains to the story, but I feel like it might have been a sign or something.

You can't define love. Or at least I find it to be unfair to try and simplify something so vast. Yes, this is an overused, overstressed literary cliche, but it's currently 2am on a Thursday morning and I don't much care about cliches. I don't know what it is, but I know that it is this. This feeling that, over the past four months, has made me laugh and brought me to my knees; confused me, comforted me, pushed me away and held me close. This indescribable notion of feeling completely safe within the embrace of only one person, is all I really know. The definition of love is almost entirely useless.

This happens to us sometimes.

It was a horrifying message. Her voice, shaking and breaking, told me of her loss. I arrived on her grandmothers doorstep an hour later, white lilies in tow. I held her as close as I knew how. Two days later I found myself in a black dress, a wad of damp tissue in my hand, kneeling beside her as visitors poured prayers over the casket. She took to the podium, her sister at her side. They did their best to speak, but tears prevailed. The room began to clear, leaving only immediate family in its wake. She was reduced to a childlike understanding of death as people began to clear away the flowers. " I don't want them to take him away. I just want him to wake up." I have a lot of words to describe an endless list of feelings, but no matter how deep I search I cannot begin to express what it is to watch someone you've spent your
entire life loving, suffer from such an immense loss. I wanted nothing more than to bring him back. I want to fix her.

If all is quiet, I can hear the trains as I go to sleep. Even if they are merely freight trains, I am, at my core, a romantic. As silly as it may seem, it is such a simple pleasure to hear the train noises just before I am about to dream. No matter where it is I went or where it is I want to go, I can rely on the train to take me there.

I'm older, now. I am different, now.
"It's getting better all the time"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Once I wanted to be the greatest"

They pitched a series of crisp, white tents
in the center of where most of the caged animals call home.
We were untamed. We were without cages.
We were trusted by the ringleaders to put ourselves
on display for the cameras and for those who
dare enter our fearless tent.
Behind the stage we were place and displaced,
dressed and undressed,poked and prodded.
They painted my face in a spectrum of disguise,
eyes magnified, lips bursting with color.
People pulling, tugging and curling each
and every hair into a sculpted coif.
In the moments where I was free to roam the grounds,
I attempted to catch a glimpse of myself.
But in every shiny surface I passed,
I never once saw a reflection of someone I recognized.
It is a truly lonely feeling.

Before being pushed into the spotlight, we were instructed to place
one foot in front of the other, to hold our chins up and to move in
ways unnatural for most. We were, after all, freaks.

There was a moment, a fraction of a moment where I thought
to turn on my stilts and run. There was so much room for error
and vast room for judgment. Both of which I have never properly
prepared myself for. But there is yet another fraction of a moment
following the aforementioned fraction of doubt where I felt
as though the world was at my feet, mouths aghast, eyes wide open.
A forceful voice harshly instructing me to go
and a gentle push are all I remember before entering the spotlight.
I was blinded and all that surrounded me became shrouded in shadow.
My mind turned off.

I had to remind myself that underneath the tightrope
there is always a net to brace the possibility of my fall.
Although I never lost my footing, there were countless
opportunities for me to slip into character, never to return to
the girl with the unpainted face, who walks without grace
and smiles without rehearsal.

Two days of playing a role; It's easy to forget who you are.

I tried. I really, truly tried to sleep soundly.
After waking up in a room that has quickly become
unfamiliar, with feelings that have since grown distant
I came to realize that even though everything I own
is under the roof I've always known,
I trustfully consider a new place to be my home.
It is that space where I am embraced,
my head resting on the rise and fall of steady breathing
with one ear planted firmly over a restless beating heart
all while I am convinced by that singular voice
that I am beautiful; I am loved.

As my birthday quickly approaches,
I find myself no longer faced with the aching
dissatisfaction that usually comes with this
annual celebration. I am no longer burdened
with knowing that the holes within me remain unfilled.
Everything was a blur until now.
Everything I ever attempted to wish for upon
the flames of birthday candles, I now have.
And for that, I am not only thankful but
certain that everything is getting better all the time.