As I moved from one mountain cottage (aka shanty) to the next, an old journal was unearthed. I was an avid journalist up until fairly recently and, for the most part, consider it to be a healthy and fascinating thing to engage in. There is a certain level of embarrassment/awe that comes up when I revisit the older ones. In the ’95-’96 book I was head over heals for Ayn Rand and her “Objectivism”. And my words reflect it. Clearly I had ready access to a thesaurus, I’ll just leave it at that. I’m sure I was a real joy to be around. Holy, holy.
So, this particular volume that I found was solely based on my first grown up love affair. It starts around 1998, somewhere between high school and the real world. I took it to the bar last night, lurked in the corner booth, drank vodka, and hopped on the time machine. Below are a few of the entries that brought me the deepest moments of pause. There is a rawness and hope that I barely remember. I look back on that time as a hazy story that happened to somebody else. It felt real nice to be reminded.
July 9th ’98
Determined sunshine, strange inconceivable perfection between us. Once given to the dance, always slated to being the dancer. Quietly following the dreams in my head, while joyously living out his. Trying to build a crystal hallway around his mind, where within, his fantasies can hold feasts.
Today I am lurching, swinging high and swaying low. I am becoming my own heroine by defeating our snarl-toothed demons.
Took his picture under the cherry tree with sun and wet grass- his imperfect perfection, my heart saturated with awe.
I’ve often looked upon you with interest beyond adoration. I’ve dissected your beauty until I found the center. I have many times watched you sleep, felt your night cloak setting in. Seen your muscles twitch and your lips form dream words. I’ve looked when others turn away.
Sept. 30th ’98 I am waiting patiently for him. Earlier I searched frantically for him, scratching at my eyes and making vows of wicked medicine. It’s vanity, mania, loneliness, this hunger for a man. It moves me to starvation of Ethiopian proportions. I miss him in my days, minutes like holes in the sky. Our nights go quickly, spent boldly by lovers rich with love. Our days, the ones we wrench from duties greedy hands, are captured by sunlight and burnt into the sand. I want so much from this. I am a woman ablaze.
Nov. 12th ’98 When I think about love, images of death defying acts for the cause fill my head. Tall men in coat and tails balancing on distant peaks, howling at the moon for love! Pale addicts injecting lawless love into a thirsty vein! The weather worn faces of loves flit through my mind in militant succession. I dazzle at what lengths the imagination bounds, all in the fury of love. In real life, love is a secret, my fears, the closet that contains it. I love like a rich man with cancer, spending dollar upon dollar on precious life. Yet the canyon between what I feel and what I expose contains a river as wide and fierce as winter. So odd, the picture of me on one side and him on the other, the rivers path carving into the sides.
Sometimes I hold him and think about our love, our canyon. And that speaks the pain I cannot. I wonder whether my imagined definition of love is as fearless as I had thought.
And much later….
Jan. 12th ’00
Good bye my love. I’ll remember the whisper.
And much, much later….
Nov. 27th ’12 To look back on these pages is a bit heartbreaking. How deeply I believed in love! How flowery my musings! And now there is an older, more complex women in her place. I wish I was sitting across the table from that girl. I imagine her knee taps and her fingers drum an antsy cadence on the Formica. She would probably be peeling the label off her beer. I’d ask her about her day and maybe she’d tell of Short Sands, red wine, salty surf bodies, and a dog, then a puppy, now long dead. And constantly buzzing around her, the three most important girls in the world, Mandy, Elisha, and Camille. And one boy, _____. If I were to ask of the girls, she’d flare up, “Deeper than blood!” “A love that will last forever,” She’d say. “No stronger bond!” And the boy? She’d blush and burn. Squirm in her seat. “Him.”
So much has gone and come since then. The love that came after was, in fact, much deeper, in a way. But this first love had such a hold on my heart. So much so that when the hand was removed, the heart went with it. How I loved then was so ravenous. I wanted to eat him alive. I wanted his soul in my stomach. And I did it. I ate him.
There is no real reason to look back with regret. That girl was vibrant and full of love. And this woman is strong and smart. Comparing the two will leave you wanting. I do wish I could go back. Be less angry. Be in less of a hurry. Be more mindful of how perfect it all was. But at least now, I can remember. And that feels wonderful.