Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When She Was Young

When they look back on my life, they will say this was a defining period. A time that changed who I was. Not in the twenty-something-quit-your-job-and-hitch-hike-out-west kind of way.  There was nothing angelic about the 29 months in which I did not move an inch. 

In October, it was all pumpkin margaritas with candy corn in the bottom of sugar rimmed glasses. Big flowery scarfs and black button downs kept us warm outside run down bars and empty city streets. We were thin then, but no one was asking why our thighs didn't touch. It was the beginning of the coldest winter we'd ever see and the first that I slept with a fan.

No one will say I changed for the worse. Lowered eyes and soft voices will give way to the fact that during this period I didn't crumble. I shriveled.

Before we could put away our flip flops it was snowing. And snowing and snowing. Everything was frozen before Halloween. Heath Ledger Halloween masks gave us anxiety attacks in the driveway and the love seat on the porch became a bedroom. Blankets left in the foyer, shoes lined the hallway upstairs. We didn't complain, we didn't lock our doors because we weren't scared. 

They will never mention you, not now. Your name will never pass through their lips to lay blame or award any credit. But it was you. You crushed me so hard that I never fully recovered. Bones have healed the same way bruises lightened. But the brightness, that honest belief I held in the purity of goodness - this was when I lost it. 

This was what happened after the leaves died. When it dropped too cold to go outside. This was when the emptiness that swallowed me began to take over. And I let it. I welcomed it. 

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