It would seem to me, having written so recently, that I would have nothing else to say. But it’s not true. Not that I have anything extraordinary brimming off the top of my tongue, that my lungs are swelling and my heart is beating just for the chance and the moment to reach out and announce to the keening, desperate world. I just know the one thing that I know.
I can do this. I can write these words and maybe something happened in the whole of this day or this weekend or this week or month or year happened that has a greater meaning that I can’t see right now but if I poke at it and contemplate it and write it down so its roots are broken and placed into freer, boundless soil, it will grow and becoming something I’ll harvest later. This is nonsense, but it might bear some sensical fruit if we apply the pruning shears and the Miracle-Gro.
I could mention, I imagine, the small little egg that I took from my half-sister’s mother’s funeral and hung up on our mantel, along with many other mementos of people and beings that we have loved. This egg that my young niece – now already nearly 18, a thought that I can hardly fathom in my head as I was only a bit younger than her when she came into the world – announced we could take if we wanted. And I thought that others should get them, others who knew her better, but after a time, I recalled how much I associated my half-sister’s mother with beautiful things and how taking it could also be a reminder to me the value of such a gift. I could mention the strange surreal quality of meeting my cousin and aunt and uncle at the funeral and how the lights flickered and we discussed this with delight before my sister’s boyfriend – who has so dutifully and kindly attended all these tragic events in the last five years – said it had to have been a child flicking the switch. But I didn’t see the child in the open room of the church, the pentagon-shaped room from which a giant crucifix was held, pendulously over us all, and it happened more than once. I want to believe so I shall.
I could mention the art deco room in this hidden event center where they held the party after the funeral, an enormous stained glass door of birds that rivaled any crucifix and was spring green and held beyond its locks, a fountain outdoors where, surely, the next day some couple would be married. How lonely I felt that day to think about how I would not mind being married there, how my own mother said two different things that frightened me differently and how I told J and how he said the acutely wrong thing. But then half-fixed it and half-broke it again.
I could take just that extra little bit of time and go somewhere on paper that I need to go.
The voice went away. I hope it comes back. I can’t imagine it not even if it’s just treading water in some tidepool. I may have to find a way to coax it out of hiding. I may have to believe in it more than I’ve come to disbelieve. I may just have to caffeinate myself and fall into the page. Screeds and madness and sentences that don’t make sense. Typos that once were unthinkable, that now crop up when you stop having the word in your eyes as much as you ever had the image.
I have stayed away so long.
It has to do with him, of course. I always wanted to be the sort of girl who didn’t “need” someone. I had to be that sort of girl as I was so unable to…”have” someone. We make the rules ones that we’re already living by so it seems like there’s a plan to it all. It is strange to imagine that so much of the writing of a year ago and prior came out of the loneliness, came out of the yearning and pining, and when provided with regular emotional contact, that desperate, aimless clutching sense of the purpose of the word went away. Or perhaps, just transmuted into a protective silence when the regular emotional contact became something less beautiful than I had hoped. When it became a mirror into my own depressive experience, when I was feeling so frustrated by the ebb and flow of trying to relate to someone so like me. An amusing realization if it wasn’t also so tragic – that we who should get each other best, we who do get each other so well, who hold so regard and esteem for transparent communication…can’t say what we need to say to one another. To be terrified of being invaded by the idea of someone with such unqualified need for me that were I to plate and serve my beating heart, it wouldn’t suffice. In the same moment, to be so angry and disappointed and indignant when no colonizing forces ever stormed the beaches. Waiting for a war that never comes. That the draw, whatsoever it is or was, was never any greater than it was before. It wasn’t different because it was him. It wasn’t motivation enough to overcome his nature. Just as his was not enough to surmount my own.
We are both so stuck.
But I know it’s not about me and this, too, is a problem.
So I have stopped journaling. Effectively. Some writing is happening – other veins that have been slowly spitting and bubbling. Nothing sure.
I think I was afraid that if I wasn’t a broken record on the subject, the voice might be powerful enough to change my mind. It might lead to the pounding, inescapable truth, that this isn’t right. At least not in the form it exists and if I heard that enough from my own thinking mind, I might be forced to speak up and say something to him, a something that, to me, from my perspective, would have to be painful to him for it to be curative for me. We need a break from each other, we need to classify this as a good friendship, I need to just do what I want to do and let everyone else move out of the way of that.