Ten Years: A Decade of Love

September 17th, 2016 § 0 comments

It’s strange.

I would die alone; yet it’s the others who would live my death.

– Simone De Beauvoir

On a forgotten notecard tacked to my art board are the hastily written words from sometime early this spring. Jon, this year has been about love. Types of love, types of men. Strangely, it’s already September, and I have taken down the notecard. The weather this year is more manic than usual, summer one day and fall the next, but it’s fitting for a rocky year of struggle, rejection and realization. The loneliness is ever-present, and death feels cruel again for the first time in almost a decade: maybe even grief is cyclical. Tonight, I’m listening to Nick Cave’s new album Skeleton Tree, of which I’m sure you’d approve, drinking a glass or two of rosé, of which I’m sure you wouldn’t, and thinking of you.

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9 Years: The Anatomy of Fear

September 17th, 2015 § 0 comments

Lying in bed, restlessly sleeping beside an unfamiliar form, through the open window and into the quiet darkness of the early AM hours in Queens, gunshots rang out. No shouts or scuffle followed the cracking sound that reverberated like echoes, sending waves anxiety and terror shooting through my body. By the time sirens could be heard they were distant and far away. Fear, that emotion we can’t control any more than love, longing and grief, has defined a certain part of my year since I last wrote. I hated playing what if games as a child, a pointless and speculative exercise, and yet this type of thinking has come to define too many of my decisions.

The weather over the last week has turned predictably cool. It’s fall, and as usual, I miss you. Another breakup, another loss, the lingering sense of loneness and that overwhelming desire to talk to you make it undeniably September. Understanding, I sometimes think, died with you, and if I am feeling particularly childish and romantic, as I rarely am these days, I wonder if you can feel the cool, exciting wind of fall, if you can remember me, if you know how much joy you gave in such a short period of time. It’s been a long while, Jon, since I knew belonging, understanding and innocence. I can remember with sharp detail the aspirations of the childish girl who loved you, and yet a friend of mine said recently, “I have seen changes in you, but somehow they seemed part of the maturing process, under it all you were still there. Now I am reassessing.”

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A Singular Presence

August 8th, 2015 § 0 comments

I never knew until I was much older why we visited my grandfather so much, having no conception of obligation and little understanding of what my grandma dying meant. All I knew was that every weekend like clockwork we’d pile into the backseat of the family truck and drive from our rural valley—already becoming suburban in the early ’80s—toward Los Angeles. Speeding down the 5 freeway, we’d look for the towering smokestack with word BINGO written vertically down the side. The familiar landmark promised us that we were almost there, and closer still we would singsong the words up potato and down tomato as the truck navigated the Frisco-like slopes that led to our grandpa’s street. Resting at the end of a shady cul-de-sac was his mid-century home, with its familiar orange door, stained glass entry and brick-lined walkway. I can still hear the sound of that deep but melodic doorbell ringing.

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Love, Loss & Living Fossils

April 11th, 2015 § 0 comments

Is six years long enough to wait? They say it takes half the time of a relationship to get over it, and yet like most things we overestimate our ability to understand and process, and perhaps it is more honest to say it takes as long as the relationship itself. I’ve often thought the luxury of having left instead of being left is that I don’t regret you nearly as much as you must regret me. I am allowed to remember what I like, to pick through my memories without bitterness, and when I do I choose to think of the youthful adolescents we were when we made the most sense. Perhaps our entire relationship was like the final scene of The Graduate. Married, escaping eagerly toward a new life, Benjamin and Elaine look at each other while doubt creeps into their eyes, and a partner in crime begins to look more and more like a stranger.

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Two Memories

June 30th, 2014 § 0 comments

For something I dismissed, I remember it vividly. I came to dwell on it months, even years later when I realized with shocking dismay how pivotal my memory of that moment had been. It’s not too often in life that you know beyond doubt that nothing will ever be the same, that you yourself will never be as you were. We realize it later, when the future has unfolded and we can pinpoint in hindsight the moment when “everything” changed. Even so, memories are fickle and so malleable to our own desires that I’m not completely convinced of this one.

I remember that I wanted that moment to be like the scene from Almost Famous, when Zooey Deschanel’s character leaves home. The film came out in theaters when I was sixteen, two years before I moved to Chicago for college, and it made an impression. The soundtrack, the coming of age story, even if it was about a boy, resonated, and the film perfectly captured what it feels like to wait for your life to happen. I was a teenager always on the edge of my seat, hoping to force the future into existence through my own desire for it. I wish I could tell myself then to be patient, and that life, brutal and unexpected, would come.

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