Sunday, January 31, 2010
Last weekend fell away and I missed a boy who isn't worthy of being missed and then I fell away, too, but when I fell, I fell backwards. I turn twenty-four in six days, and I am scared of this number and the changes it may bring with it so last weekend I rewound instead. My twenty-third was the best and full of change and I would not change a thing. But twenty-four sounds too big and real and grown-up, and so sometimes it's easier to put up walls and hibernate then face what waits a week ahead.
But this weekend I did not miss any boy at all. And it may have felt like -24 outside, but I refused to hide away. I went out with pink lips and big hopes and I was happy because I realized twenty-three was the best because it was the first year I'd done alone and isn't there something really amazing about such independence and self-knowledge? My happiness was mine and my sadness was only mine, too, and so if I fall away one weekend I can come back stronger than ever the next.
And stronger than ever was I when I realized that he really is the dirtiest of dirties and nights of spooning don't make up for months of lies. And stronger than ever was I when I realized that the boy from last winter will still never take off his coat for me and I never really liked him all that much to begin with. And the strongest was I when I realized it's taken me a year to get over the last boy that actually mattered and in that realization comes the hope of finally moving on and moving away from these dirty boys and these boys who'll never stay to talk.
I like to think my year was like this song. Slow but steady, beautiful but still sad, and there may have been something wrong with my heart for most of it, but twenty-three still managed to build and grow and that tambourine kicked in right at the end when it was needed the most.
Friday, January 22, 2010
This house was old and forever dirty but it was the first house I thought of as a home that didn't belong to my parents and it was my home because I did so much growing between its sage green walls and rambling three floors.
It had a large, forest green wrap around porch that I now wish I had spent more time on. Inside, it had a real working fireplace and two living rooms and flowers stained into the windows and arched doorways and the tallest windows and so much light. The kitchen was tiled green and white and there was a tiny sun room off the kitchen that stored the remnants of last night's parties and one time my roommate opened the door to find a homeless man riffling through these remnants on a Sunday morning. There were two full washrooms and six bedrooms and curved staircases and secret hideaways for the cats under these staircases. There were more windows upstairs, too. And there was a little nook in the wall that never got filled quite right. The backyard was long and wide and full of the biggest tree and the most unsafe firepit. My roommates once caught a couple out there under that tree and amongst the bushes. My bedroom had four closets and two windows that led onto a roof I used to welcome spring and summer. And there was the biggest tree outside those two windows, too, and the sun would shine through the branches of those trees to wake me every morning.
The house creaked and groaned and every shutting of a door was like a whisper. It was always full of people and spills and too much garbage. But it was also what I woke to on the first day of school and what I came home to after my last exam for two years. And it held my hand as I sat late into the night typing essay after essay or to boys two hours across the 401. It was a room in a house that we painted together and then broke up in twenty months later. It was the last place I ever spoke to him. It was a room and a house that saw me welcome new boys into my life back when I thought there could never be anyone else. It saw new sleepovers and heard new phonecalls and it was the house I went back to after first seeing him on the street in the rain and knowing I would never ever forget his face and knowing that I would oneday hold that face.
Today I can still look at this picture and hear the sounds of traffic passing by and remember how it felt to round the corner and be greeted by the grandness that was this house and those two years. When I think of this house, it is always the beginning of spring and the sun always stays out later than it ever actually does and there is a lightness in the air and there is anticipation and hope and because of all this, this house will forever be home even if it's just now a mere home in my memories.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Despite this burst of affection, he still doesn't matter anymore than he did the night before. No. The mornings were just always my favourite to wake to with the boys that mattered the most. And as much as I claim to not want to be anyone's half of a whole, that love I splattered across backs and gave in the biggest hugs can't just disappear, can it?
This boy does not matter and will never matter in any way that love is involved. No. Never. But even though I know this, I sometimes can't help but return to my old self in those mornings when the sky is half dark and half light and he is placing a kiss on my shoulder.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Today, this city, my city, did not look or feel in the height of winter. No! There was nothing cold or grey or lonely about the way the sun bounced off my streetcar window and back onto the bluest sky January has ever seen. I hopped and beamed down the street and not because of any boy for once. There is no boy worth writing about that is not long past-tense, and I realized, today, in the midst of the most beautiful day, that for the first time in a very long time, I don't need a boy to lighten my step. My city and a tiny hint of spring were hope enough.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
It's been so long that I can pass his house or that corner where he once said he first fell in love with me and feel as close to nothing as possible. And it's been so long that I forget what it ever was like to be one half of a whole or what it felt like to even want to be that half. And it's been so long that I don't even know what movies he'd want to see in the theatres or how to be the half of any whole for that matter. And it's been so long that I'll go places I shouldn't, only to be held in the quickest of moments because even though I may not be anyone's half, it's sometimes still nice to pretend for the night. And it's been so long that I can listen to this song and wonder how something so beautiful exists. But it hasn't been so long that I can listen to this song and sing "gather medicine for heartache so we can act a fool" and forget the truth and stories in those words and know that it'll be almostforever before I'll be anything but a jumble of quarters and thirds and nothing resembling a half, or whole.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Looking for Nancy,
everywhere, I've stopped
girls in trenchcoats
and blue dresses,
Nancy, I've looked
hell for you,
Nancy, I've been afraid
that I'd die
before I found you.
But there's always
been some mistake:
a broken streetlight,
too much rum or merely
my wanting too much
for it to be her. (97)
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
In the meantime, last year, before September, I still read, and sometimes for pleasure, and these are some of the favourite lines I came across:
"Goddamn," John said to me when he closed the book. "Don't ever tell me again you can't write. That's my birthday present to you."
I remember tears coming to my eyes.
I feel them now.
In retrospect, this had been my omen, my message, the early snowfall, the birthday present no one else could give me.
He had twenty-five nights left to live.
I know it's early, but I keep thinking he's still here. Well, not here, I know he's not here, but on his way here. On his way back from somewhere coming here.
Of course, I don't think it's my old dad in his old body coming here. It's my old dad, in a new form.
Thinking your dad might be coming in a new form is not so bad. It's like you're always excited, and getting ready, and listening for the door.
Or when your heart crashed so young at 54 as you fell from mom's arms t the dance floor did you see islands?
I don't like to think of myself as an insincere person but if I say I love you and I don't mean it then what else am I? Will I cherish you, adore you, make way or you, make myself better for you, look at you and always see you, tell you the truth? And if love is not those things then what things?
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I like to think that as the clock struck midnight and Thursday became Friday and 2009 turned into 2010 and the aughts became the past, the sky opened up and covered the entire city in fluffy white flakes. Can you imagine a more beautiful greeting to all this change I'm still not ready to embrace? I may have already been three beers and two glasses of champagne in, but I remember all that actually met me outside was grey slush and everything ugly and nothing pretty.
Yet hours and drinks later, my memory is less true and more wishful and so I can tell myself that flakes really were falling as I jumped into a cab and headed somewhere I probably shouldn't have. But although I knew this, at that moment, it was the only place I would've been, and my head was spinning and my heart was thumping and I was fidgeting in expectation as I blurted his address aloud. The parties had ended and the streets were dark and still and quiet and because of all the racing going on inside of me, I like to believe it was snowing as he greeted me on his doorstep.
I snuck out in the morning and waited in a bus shelter and wondered why I had just done what I did. But then it started snowing. Big and fluffy and white and for real this time. In that instant, the city was suddenly mine again and new and clean and beautiful. A little late, but it returned nonetheless. And at that moment, I knew why I'd done what I did. Sometimes all one needs is to be held on the city's most magical night when she feels no sparkle inside herself. And then my sparkle returned. Not in the form of a boy, but in the way everything outside the bus window became unknown but also all sorts of familiar underneath those flakes.
So Toronto, I may have been hiding away, but you've always been the one. Not some boy and especially not that one. No. Never. Just you.