It’s snowing in Manhattan tonight. In Massachusetts and Ohio, the snow stays unblemished and white for miles, and it makes you feel grateful and small. Here, it’s more rain than anything else, and what’s white becomes gray quickly. It’s pretty unremarkable, so far.
I was away last week, with J and his magical cat. I turned 31 while I was there, which so far feels like a nice age, not young and not old, but comfortable. I’m so bad at being on vacation, it basically has to be forced upon me. It’s hard to be away and hard to come home. I didn’t write very much, so when I got back here, I intended to rip into things, but I forgot about the re-entry, the part where I feel entirely overwhelmed by the past, present and future and just want to lay on my bed.
Whenever I leave a place I always feel like I’ll never come back. (Fatalism is one of my more delightful qualities.) I treat the place where I am like a sponge, I have to squeeze everything out of it, even if I have no business there. It’s completely weird, sometimes it just involves standing in a room or a restaurant or on a road, but it’s rife with desperation, so really the parts that I love have no hope of making it in those last moments.
On Sunday, J and I were walking through a parking lot, and there was an SUV parked sideways with the motor running. A woman got out in an orange coat, wearing high heels and a headband. Her face was pale and her lips red. She was in a hurry, so I don’t know if she noticed me. This all took place within thirty seconds, but it was jarred me thoroughly.
She and I had not seen each other for more than ten years, and the last time we’d spoken, it was angrily, over email. The fight made me feel insane, because I couldn’t remember what I’d done to hurt her. I have an idea now, but it seems like it’s buried under so much other shit that now I don’t know if I would recognize the person who managed to did it.
Later that day, I did what I usually do when I can’t deal with something head on-I tried to make art about it. The result was ten good sentences and a pile of ramblings. We were nerdy heroes of high school Latin together for two years. She was elegant and sassy, and I loved her fiercely. Her house and her family seemed like another world to me. There were problems, of course, but they weren’t the same as my problems, so that was better.
In high school, everyone wants to be saved, even the people who seem like they have it together. We’re finding each other online now, reconnecting via sanitized versions of ourselves. We are so much more in charge now, or at least, it looks that way.
It is wet and soggy in the city now, and there’s a hole in the bottom of my chucks. I’m going for a walk anyway.