Monday, September 1, 2008

me, I was raised amid the trickle-down days

Oh it's such a drag, what a chore,
oh your wounds are full of salt.
Everything's a stress and what's more,
well it's all somebody's fault.

He growls in my dreams, and what he does after I do not speak of, even to my intimates, but it brings a smile to my face, warmth to my eyes. We talk of everything, some nights, and other nights we say nothing, knowing it's enough that the other is there, close enough to touch, close enough to converse with.

It's enough. It should be enough.

Hey! Get, get, get, get, get over it!

She cuddles close to me and I pull her into my arms. The scent of her hair comforts me, her smile enchants me, and she is the first one I've spent any serious time around where I can drop my guards and exist in that frustrating, and somewhat inconceivable, sphere of cuteness I generate on occasion. We speak in twee little kitten voices and it makes me smile, as much as it makes me shake my head at my own misbehavior.

Make you sick, make you ill,
makes you cheat, slipping change from the till.
Had it up to the gills,
makes you cry while the milk still spills.

He comes to me, perpetual lock of bistre hair falling over one eye, and I am charmed just watching him move. I adore watching him build, I'm fascinated with his mind, what he chooses to build, how he chooses to build. I am endlessly amused with his competitiveness--my strength is endurance, sliding around obstacles or away from them, but he, he must forge ahead, be better, be best, and his biggest competitor is himself.

I can say this now, to myself clearest of all: I am happy with my life.

Ain't it just a bitch? What a pain, well it's all a crying shame.
What left to do but complain?
You'd better find someone to blame--

But some nights, some days, I still shy away, I still look, I still angle and suborn as a matter of habit. The bulk of my life, I've been my own worst enemy. I don't let go of the past; I flirt as others breathe; I forget where the dividing lines are. It's not that I fall out of love; in fact, that's part of the problem. I fall in love deeply, and forget the trick of ending. As much as I hold to the changing of body and bone, shade and species, I am unchanging in how I love.

Hey! Get, get, get, get, get over it!

But I can learn. I am slow in lessoning, sometimes things just don't sink in, but what I learn, what I manage to remember, I retain. And this is the chief lesson of my life I'm facing, in this moment:


Got a job, got a life,
got a four-door and a faithless wife.
Got those nice copper pipes, got an ex,
got a room for the night.

Nothing is so very injuring, so tragic and damaging, that I need to divorce my life to get over it. And yes, I forget, yes I get distracted, yes, I make mistakes. Who doesn't? I'm learning. Who isn't? I evolve, I learn, I grow, and each failed attempt just teaches me what not to do next time.

Aren't you such a catch?
What a prize! Got a body like a battle axe,
Love that perfect frown, honest eyes,
We ought to buy you a Cadillac--

In the meantime, I practice what may be the hardest trick of all--recognizing that remaining connected to my past, doesn't mean I have to exist in that mix of emotions and reactions. Sometimes, people don't go away, and it means nothing more than they value my friendship.

And there it is, the chainsaw in the juggled apples: can I simply be friends with those who've seen me, bare and open, eyes wide with the wonder of what they meant to me, then, in that moment? Is it possible?

I touch the hollow in my throat where the locket lives, and I nod, slowly. Because if this is another mistake? At the least of it, it will be one more thing to learn. And learning is movement, at least of the mind. I keep learning, I won't stagnate, freeze in place, ossify into immobility.

Besides which...I keep moving, I'm a harder target to hit. That's part of it, too.

(Lyrics taken from OK GO's first single, "Get Over It.)


turnerBroadcasting said...

When the music's over..
Turn out the lights..


Emilly Orr said...

Or find a new place to dance.

Works either way.