I spent two years writing about my ex-boyfriend. I had imagined turning the free writes into something that someone could hold in their hands. The idea came from moving back home and writing a lot. Subjects in a tired green journal that could easily be categorized into a chapbook: God, babies, family, sex, love. However, when I began transcribing and editing, I felt utterly incapable of moving forward; my writing was drenched with him, heavy by how long I left him inside of me.
It is interesting how badly I always want to chronicle who I was through how I loved him, where I’ve been, what my dreams were, the bad, the good moments you don’t want to forget. It’s been the most challenging thing I have ever tried to write about. For some reason I haven’t been able to make it something cohesive or a full story, I’ve tried but there’s so much there. I have numerous documents where I started and it fell to another place, I even created a document to put all negative procrastination type thoughts into. But it is a room I have found I just cannot stay in despite how it has influenced the best and worst of me.
To be honest I might still make him a chapbook, not for him but for me. Evolutionary arcs deserve to be recorded.
And with stuff like this: I thought of you today, in the way that people think about Jesus or their children. I thought about you and how every day you’re here-nestled way deep down in different parts of me, sticky and stoic. And every time I think of you I wonder if you are aware of how much I loved you.
Outstretched on the bed, my feet rest against his, but he can’t feel them. He doesn’t know what my feet feel like against his. Has only known parts of me. His toes don’t move against mine. Sometimes I wonder if he knows how to feel my body by simply seeing me there curled up against him, it’s been years and he’s still vivid in my mind. I can still see him, smiling and laughing across the bath tub, his knees leaning hard against the porcelain, indents forming on his skin.
It’s 5:22 on a Sunday and I wonder what you’re doing. I close my eyes and try to recall how we used to spend out Sundays. I would do your laundry and walk barefoot in the side yard and talk to Simba’s wise Bengal eyes. Or we would nap or get high or watch The Sopranos sprawled out and feasting on watermelon. Some days we would sit below the Ventura sun in your mom’s back yard as she chain smoked Marlboros and searched for answers. I always felt extended in the air with her and as though she wanted to nurture me with removed acceptance that I couldn’t even begin to see. I’d fixate on her straight hair clinging to the scrunchie for dear life. Other days we would stand lovingly at Grandma and Papa’s after having pulled up the long drive way and beheld the BMWs and you bemoaned your sister’s presence and we’d been offered drinks-we would wait, me with my hand on your shoulder admist the expansive, expensive, beautiful idea of a home. I still remember that look on your face the minute we all returned after having wandered through the house. Those eyes filled with a sense of peace and relief at not having to stare at all the stuff or take in the six foot tall paintings and perfectly made up rooms. And how you’d greet me with love upon my return thankful that I wasn’t like them or even like you for that matter. We’d drink syrah from the end of the dining room table-the same syrah I got drunk on during our second first time around. You had made pasta, it was spicy and I was amazed by how easily you felt like home. The first night we shared a bed since I was nineteen; I don’t think we realized how arrogant we were after getting back together. I for one, operated from the guise of gratitude throwing around the words, “blessed,” and, “calm.” I can still remember the moment of pause from within my nook of a kitchen and how I asked myself if I could stand it all falling apart again should it come to that; if I could survive falling deeper in love with you should it end with us apart, I was so certain I was ready.
and realizations like this:
I have learned there is this light in me I keep trying to play down. Yet the truly observant still see it but they comment on it loudly as though to say, “I see you. . .all of you.” It has struck me how energy, poise, and truth still seep out of you even when you are trying to be so small.
This has been my rawest season yet. Every day I am dripping new pieces of myself over the universe. I am learning how easily God can be found everywhere and how the love and sacrifice of Jesus is beyond the words, the communal rituals, and practices of what walls hold in to exalt.
How could you not?