Reunion

who the fuck knows what might come out

I have just come from a little bit of meditation.  It is a fairly remarkable thing to be quiet and not online, even just for 10 minutes.  But I am grateful for my calm app today.

I am glad for the sound of lapping water.  I am glad for the reminder of diligence met with gentleness.  I am glad for the desire to come to the page and think in the quietness of my own life and not the stories that others want to share.  Mine.

Life has been a slice of collapsed ego of late, the eggy meringue turning to soup over a far too sharp lemon curd.  I forgot a meeting today.  It wasn’t on my calendar.  But if I’d stop to think, I would have known.  Priorities are bad.  Nobody’s mentioned it, so now my not mentioning it is a secondary strike. Too concerned with the sugared dream world, a place where you are linked to others and not alone.  Too concerned with making right now suffused with food and numbness that you can’t sense what’s gone to rot around you.  The joy of an ebbing depression is how much you let turn to shit while you were out.  Sometimes, in such moments, I think, when you look around and feel failure and waste…your mind sends you right back out to sea.

But there are some curiosities to attend to whilst we linger on this shore.

Why on earth after fifteen years did you decide to reach out and friend me on Facebook?  Old, old, old…friend?  Boy I knew once.  Boy who was one of the boys orbited the girls in the great firmament of my youth.  Shorter than the others, I remember, aquiline nose, a name that matched mine.  But mostly, one of the pack.  One of the blur.  I looked up at them, all of them, in wonder and loathing and expectation and resignation.  I thought for sure that one of them could love me – in whatever definition or understanding I held love in at that time – and they all took their turn in apogee in my view.  Each of them, preppy, sporty, goofy, above average intelligent guys, all of them friends, all of them in social agonies with the equilateral cadre of girls.   I was not among them.  I was not, be it in their eyes or mine, a romantic possibility.   They had money.  They had the right clothes.  They matched.  I spoke with flowers in my spare time.  Dreamed of spiraling towers, delphinium.  I pined with the power to set cities ablaze, but it was offset by a self-shame as immovable a force as any love was unstoppable, and so it was…being among them, hearing their jokes, observing their flirtations and dramas, learning the way an invisible wall feels brushed over your fingertips, crushed into the winged bones of your back.  I insinuated nothing.  I folded my hands, stomped out all embers, and graduated alongside them.

If I was seen on occasion by any of them it was because I was smart.  It was because I could write and while none of those boys gave a damn about me, they didn’t turn their noses up at my writing. And there was a painful sort of respect I earned up there on my fence.  I asked nothing of them, I didn’t give off any particular signals.  I wasn’t a friend.  I wasn’t a buddy.  If I was a cipher, they were perfectly content to leave me unsolved.    I did not die from this, perhaps I gained some screwy strength that let me manage growing up, but I did hurt.

It is an age-old story.   Without Facebook, there was no reason to expect to hear from any of them again.

He – this voice from the past, if I think about it – would talk to me, now and again, though.  I remember that.  Never particularly smug or mean.  There were many others I thought of first, but my wandering eye didn’t exclude him.  I remember his mother being nice, involved, remembered me once or twice over the years.  My mother was nice, but never involved.  Save once.  A coercion never repeated.

He seems super outdoorsy, fit, I guess, and while not married, maybe, also possibly politically questionable in the sorts of ways I would speculate a well-off white kid from the suburbs might end up 15 years later.  Doesn’t post a lot, really.  Months and months between posts.  Curious what he thinks of me, now that my whole Facebook life is open to his perusal.  You’d imagine there was some trigger, some reminiscence, some reason to decide to ping me – me, this person who was an aggressively innocuous teenage girl presence in his life some decades ago.   Faceless, really.

But, one supposes, after a thrillingly short imaginative journey after receiving that request…envisioning he’d had some unspoken crush for me and just now, just now, so many years later, he realizes he must have m….no.  No, he hasn’t said a word in hello, and I was, I assume, just a name recognized on a list.   A You Might Know… might as well.

And so as close as the Internet allows 2 people to become, we are as strange to one another as we ever were.  And I am tired and ready for a bath.

Answer the Hail

The thing I think I can think about right now is that I have enough time to write all the words I could ever want to write.

I have an hour here and I can easily provide the universe with five hundred words.  Even if my attention span isn’t long enough to think of the precise analogy I want to make about mayflies and hummingbirds.  Everything is buzzing so quickly and there’s no need.  We are not in any sort of race and it would be grand to have our brain engaged as we deal with the things that dealing with is requested.
Some things that over this long period of not posting you are likely unaware of:
I have a new bathroom.  It is almost, almost done.  There is art on the wall, and the murky, slimey sht brown walls are now white and it no longer feels as though you’re taking your turn in a dark outhouse that might instantly be converted into a coffin every time you use it.  The bathtub is sparkling white.  There is a glass case full of boxes in which, one assumes, I will soon put my particular lady-items so they’re hidden away beneath shelves of neatly appointed white towels.  There is a glass display of my fortune telling notes and a glass case full of a vintage rabbit door stop.  There is a wall of gloriously spa, sea foam green, vintage tile.  There will soon be a haunted mirror – albeit haunted by a ghost who wants you only to see yourself in the best possible light.   There’s a oil-rubbed bronze faucet that pours out a fountain of water into this deep basin.
There’s still some things to do.  Baseboards are not back where they should be, the medicine cabinet I hate is not yet spray-painted white and hung, the mirror needs to be hung, the faucet and shower head will remain a terrible silver for now, the vent needs replacing.  The toilet seat needs to be changed out because the new one creaks and I’m terrified it’s going to send a shard of plastic up my rear at some inopportune moment.  The door is still going to this honey brown because painting one side of a door is apparently gauche and changing that would mean changing all doors everywhere.  And that is a project too grand for me to finance.
Suffice to say, this suffices.  This little room makes me terribly happy.  Because it is visible change that I instigated and my family executed at my direction and being in there does make me feel hopeful which is necessary in this time where you wonder how the hell you’re ever going to feel hopeful about anything again.  Just terror from on high day in and out.  I worry about leaving the fan on in case the fan overheats at how much I need it to cool things down.  It’s just one little fan, you know?  Fighting against the heat death of the universe.  Hard not to feel empathetic towards it and say you’ll get by, let the darkness do what it can.
What else?  I am deeply, deeply grateful that I have Critical Role.  I’m going to get home.  Say something to J because I feel out of sync there.  Life has de-synchronized me.  I follow the wills of the chemicals inside my brain.
Oh, I suppose I should also note, because it is impossible, and yet it is true:  I have a doctor’s appointment in a few weeks.
Maybe there doesn’t need to be commentary about that just yet.