The double deer. How does it go? Either one side capitulates or it doesn’t.
I have been awash with profundity as this wave of heat makes me (me and this bright new shadowling, this new friend who seems, at this juncture, to have an honest and full comprehension of my heart and the path I am endeavoring to follow) rather tired. I, she, it, Astrid, you, seem rather quieter today, but nonetheless present. Willing to sit with me as the sky grows overcast and I finally think turning off the unending auto-cycling spasm of Say Yes to the Dress is a good idea, shortly after a woman communes with Princess Diana for her pre-wedding jitters.
I shouldn’t judge anybody for the cast of characters in my head would match anyone’s for grandiosity.
I see the sheaths of silk, the sample dresses that bleed into one, each with fat orange vise grips to cinch them tight against these exhaustively earnest women who look at themselves in the mirror and accept this next phases of the transformation. You might think that this is mandatory, this is as ingrained in the blood as puberty, as death. It isn’t, though, and some of us exist on the edges of these rituals. Looking down over the concrete edges into the tiger’s habitat at the creature that is supine, abeyante, peaceful in its stillness, threatening in the potential of what lies beneath the stripes, burning bright. Look at how it eats. Oh, golly, look at how it was made for the hunt. Then we slip on our lace gloves and stroll under our parasols, as the sun irradiates, as gravity pulls, as a pebble is swallowed like a sugar pill to fill the gap that spreads. No matter where you turn, there is the bull. There is the regret that you gave yourself to a tiger who killed you. The regret that you don’t like the taste of obsidian or the swim of your belly as it moves, carrying all those black stones with you.
It is one deer, it is two ways. Pressed in the heads, but there is a heart in the middle and that is the only place to go.
My sister wrote me, Facebook messaged me today. She had asked my mother about what she thought, hypothetically, they would think about being able to contribute to this wedding that everyone knows is an incredible burden on her soul, everyone, except, perhaps her long-term boyfriend who for his own reasons, has refused to propose. These are not my stories to share, of course, and these are not my wrongs to right, if in fact, they are anything other than the true facts about the way things are. My mother said she hadn’t thought about in a long time. This disappointed my sister, because it matched up this fear that is so hard to live with, that it will never happen. But I’ve rode these waves with her before and I did what I could to tell her we were all excited for whenever it would happen and it will.
I said I didn’t think I would, that our mother’s surely given up on me, and she kindly said, oh no, oh no, you will get married, too.
And there was a pause in the flurry of correspondence and I imagine we were both sitting there with the flailing of the other’s assurances. Yes, yes, for you, this will happen. Of course, no question, don’t worry. And still the question that strolls along, pulling tantalizingly slow at each fingertip of its long gloves, “But when?”
For a long time, for all my life, I would be sad at such an exchange. I would feel wounded. I would feel that my myth was being read out around the fireside, that the tribe was nodding along at the Cat Who Walked By Herself, and I would be silent, but seething. I would feel robbed of glories due me, laughed at, I would hurt. And I would do nothing.
Now, I think, I need to go out on a date.
That is all I need to do.