There’s no rhyme or reason as to what or why I feel right now. Grief is a funny thing in that your mind doesn’t settle on any kind of order. Elizabeth Kubler Ross was right that there are five stages of grief, but wrong in that there is a particular order. It’s more like they all hit at once, your mind a TV blaring with five thousand channels of thought.
My three trunks are myself and my mom, Dana, and Argo. Everything I feel is somehow derivative of one of those three things (my mother and me being the same in her absence).
I’m thinking about how much I love them and how much each of them changed my life and then two or three memories of each of us pop across my mind in a way that I can’t direct them because they are disparate and out of order, or five memories blended together. I can only let it happen. This will get better over time, but I can’t imagine a more unfortunate series of events that would create recovering from mind-altering grief quickly.
The tapes for Dana speed up because I don’t want to think about them. Our bad moments so overshadowed our good ones at the end of our relationship that I’d just rather not deal with it as an overarching problem, just as they come up…. which is often, but less than people who recognize all the things of which I am capable. Dana didn’t want to be married to a writer, and I understand that implicitly; we are prone to wander through life lost in our own heads and because she was in my life, she showed up in my writing and didn’t always like what she saw. However, I have taken the steps to torch my own writing before, and it was such an enormous cost that I was not willing to give it up again. If it was being married or being a writer, the thing that is closest to my true self wins.
As I was telling Lindsay, I’m old enough now that I can picture never getting married again…. which is good, because I am technically married in two states…. possibly the only good thing to come out of the Trump election so that when sanity is finally restored I won’t have had to do any paperwork. #worksmarternotharder
You have to have a small, select group of people in your life that understand how you tick, and writers are impossible to live with. There will always be a couple of people who understand different parts of you, but hardly ever one person that understands it all… and even when they do, it’s scary for them to think they have to put up with it. When I least expect it, I am sure it will happen… that I’ll find that woman who understands the creative process and doesn’t feed the crazy, just acts as a sounding board and calming presence until I become the calming presence while she has her emotions about her calling, too. I don’t think there’s much more to love than that.
I am also dismissive and judgmental when it comes to finding love as a verb because I have impossibly high standards… which leaves me finding the tiniest things that annoy me about a person within seconds. The easiest arrow to my heart is “dumb.” If I find you boring, I’m out…. even though with time the conversations might become more interesting if I let myself breathe.
I have to like your face, and while I am not at all particular about the types of bodies people have, your face must have “that thing.” Maybe it’s a cute little mole on the side of your lip or a scar you got in a skiing accident or the way your eyes look like there are joyous secrets behind them. Maybe I recognize part of your facial features in someone else subconsciously, so your face already feels like home…. or, at least, I imagine it could be.
Because I’m turned on by brains and not bodies, I don’t think I’ve ever had a girlfriend that was classic trophy-wife beautiful. It was that their quirks made them beautiful to me.
Although who knows? Maybe my next girlfriend will be six feet tall with long blonde hair in a power suit with her cleavage showing a little too much… or perhaps leaving the house in Class As that I want to rip back off. But not if her face doesn’t look like home…
because otherwise, I wouldn’t even notice her at all.