Not one nth or one iota.
Much as I would like to claim the reason I went flailing home, swallowing tears, bag of un-eaten bean dip and chips in hand was about the people at the reunion barbeque, I wasn’t upset because of them. Nor the fact that I was the only single, childless person there. Nor the fact that I was typically alone and awkward sitting there at the picnic table, observing exactly as it happened day in and day out during high school.
It was completely and utterly about me. It’s about the way I just keep waiting for something to happen. The way I relive what was, warm the milk of memory and escape in its sugar structures to this place that never really was. This knife-blade’s width place where I was writing and reading and full of potential and every year that place gets more real and my real life becomes harder and harder to bear.
I don’t want kids. Or necessarily someone there with me at all. I don’t not want that either, but what it really is, the nutshell: I just want to finish something. I just want to reach some goal that is so much bigger than just breathing and eating and waiting for death.
I knew it would be like this, but somehow, I thought that maybe some of the invented magic, that concentrated blood orange, was real. And what was bitter could turn sweet in time. As I sat there, smiling, checking my phone, I think that ten years gone isn’t bitter, it isn’t sweet, it is strangers meeting and parting.
I find the way the sky looks right now so beautiful, such a fierce and heavy blue as the dusky sunset pumps in cracks of red veined light which break it like a creme brulee. I didn’t give in when I felt so sore and so deserving of food. I have a mother who calls me back six times when I don’t answer to see if I’m alright and then makes me eggs and lets me think my way out of the morass I swear is my new party dress. I can leave all of that behind. I have a party with rock stars to go to. My hair looks beautiful. I have a story that needs me. I have two legs. I have plane tickets. I am sincere in my hopes for love and peace and adventure. I am a decent person. I don’t live under the overpass. I have a personal fan. I have aspirin for my headaches and time for my heart.
The scale says I’m losing. Then I swear I’m gaining. I don’t know. I’m wearing the fitbit. I just crave the discipline, the doing of things. I crave purpose, identity, friendship, being known, producing, a good haircut, music, dancing, and most of all, I want to get my hands on the next ten years.
This isn’t about you, my high school acquaintances, but I do thank you for being kind.