Wednesday, February 9, 2011


When the end is near, and then over, you always think about the beginning. You find yourself losing your train of thought during rush hour doing a steady 75 back to the day you met.

Or, back to the day you fell off your coffee table and onto his lap as he liked to call it. Back to the time you climbed through his window, tripped over his computer and crashed to the floor on the other side. Back to the hot pink-polka dot togas you wore on the lawn of Adams Street, where you made a pact to stay in yours if he stayed in his. Back to 10am, December 14th, 2006 clutching a red plastic cup and munching on a piece of bagel crust he made you eat. Back and back and back… You go back, even if you try not to, you do it. We all do. All these introductions add up until the list is so dizzying it takes you days to get through.

Sometimes, I feel like I am cheating because I know myself so well. Like when you read the last page of a novel before the first; don’t the other 130 pages feel cheap because you know where the author is taking you? - I always know where this is going. Every instance can be pinpointed:

The day my lap stopped being a pillow for his restless head because my need to prove that sitting still was for criminals was overpowering any and every other emotion. I felt it was my was my duty, my right if you will, to denounce people who have taken their ability to be free and squandered it.

The day your chewing made me wince so I placed my fork beside my knife and sat wide eyed watching you spill hot sauce down the front of your shirt. “Do you know how to use a fork properly?” I once asked.

Right now, I’m sitting in traffic on 95 and I’m thinking about the weather. All I can think about is the way he reminded me of the weather. Every year when the wind calms, I am comforted by the grass thawing and stretching back towards the sun because I am thrown back into my past. It was a time best described by the fact that the front door had no lock but I was still uneasy about just walking in. To this day, I am not sure if I loved being with him or just being in that lifestyle full of freedom and lazi-faire planning.

My passenger is telling me to get over it, that as with anything else, I need to make room for the new. She is saying “you need to let go of the past.” I want to say “I love my past.”

When we rear ended that couple on the night before I left, you threw your arm across my chest on impact to hold my body against the seat. Your arm caught the glass from the windshield. I often wonder about people who rear end other people and if the subconscious comes into question when white dust from the air bag is raining down . How did you know to put your arm out so fast?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Live, Alive

There was an ice storm over night and I slept while the city was covered in tiny frozen pellets. I didn't sleep well, but I slept. I haven't felt comfortable in this bed since before I bought it.

Sitting in the mattress store I flopped on mattress after mattress; I climbed on the hard ones, sunk into the soft ones, I sprawled out and curled up but unlike red riding hood, my need was not met. Nothing was right.

At night when I can’t sleep, I look at my ceiling and try to trace the cracks by the light from street lamps. I listen for familiarity in cars passing by my window and I think about that apartment you lived in. The cracks in the ceilings linked the living room and kitchen. I want to bring up the time we laid in bed and I asked about the cracks but you didn’t respond.

I find myself more often than not thinking about the apartments you’ve lived in that I didn't see, or never will see. The ones I’ve been in, the ones you’ve had me in- they don’t interest me. I stay awake at night and want to know you in a way I would never let you know me.

Sometimes, I lie completely still and try to see myself in this bed. I try to be there 100%- but I'm not. I've never been anywhere 100%. Even during my happiest moments I want to be on to the next happiest moment. There will never be enough happiest moments for me.

There are nights when I feel the way I did last August. Now alone, but not then, I focused on trying not to move so not disturb him. The slight sound of his breathing banged against my ears and even though the air conditioner made the weather December I sweat through the sheets.

I’ve tried all the usual remedies to combat this insomnia. I read books, lit candles and even bought bed risers. Now it's just like I'm floating while I lay awake. I tried meditating in the morning, but I’ve found that I like the soothing sound of an anchor’s voice to that of silence.

I find a calmness take over as they tell me of overnight gun shot wounds and car accidents and three alarm fires and missing children. There’s always missing children. As the sunrises I am greeted with traffic back ups on free ways and natural disasters along coastal cities and towns. It comforts me to know that I'm not the only one awake tracing ceiling cracks at 4am.

I’m not afraid of planes crashing out of the sky on to my house from over exposure to the news. I do not have panic attacks when I cross bridges or wear a helmet while I walk down the street.. In fact, I have booked more flights and boarded more train this year than any other. I am certain that I'll find America, even if it exhausts my entire bank account.

Through my trials with the night I have found one full proof method- pack a suitcase before bed. Leave an itinerary stuck up on my fridge and I wake up fully rested with no urge to stay up until sunrise picking at vowels and periods like paint chips on my wall.