Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Memories

A thing I've been working on. Enjoy.




I'm running down the tracks by Adams house. The gravel is spraying out behind me with every step as I hurtle past the yellow dirt hill the railroad was carved into a hundred years ago. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm happy as only a child can be. I stumble to a stop as a glint catches my eye; a single, rusted penny is laying on the track, squished into the tiniest layer of copper by hundreds of steel wheels grinding their way across it. I pick it up and promise to keep it forever. 
It's lost within a week. 

The four of us are lying on the grass with our eyes to the stars. It's 2 in the morning and our parents think we're curled in bed. Not that it's ever stopped us before. We think we're rebels. We think we're feeling everything for the very first time in the world, and it's true because in that moment all the world is only us. The park is our ultimate sanctuary of loneliness and open sky. Mike breaks the silence, guys, right now I think we should just get in the car. Let's just get in the car and drive and never look back. There's a pause, a beat of breathless silence, and we burst into fits of laughter at the absurd cheesiness his statement encapsulates. We laugh so loud I hear it echo back from the hills. I am so happy I can't put it to words.
I'm discovering the indescribability of deep feelings. 

I broke his heart and now he won't stop looking at me. Controlling my pity is much harder than controlling my anger, but harder yet is shoving down my sense of satisfaction. I'm driving a boy to the ends of his mind just by entering a room. The sick glee is only matched by my shame. It's been two months and I can't understand his desperate attempts to hang on to me. We're driving down college parkway, chasers in the back and Windows down to drown out the painful silence that fills the car. He turns the radio on and his movements are slow, like he's trying to keep a wild animal calm. It's a valid concern; I'm practically vibrating I have so much tension in my spine. A wrong move will send us both into oncoming traffic. A song comes on, the latest love ballad of the latest music star and I can't change the station quick enough. Why did you change it? I hate him for playing dumb, and my anger loosens my tongue, because I'm sick of hearing about lost love. He spends the rest of the ride staring at his hands.
Our good memories are being replaced, one by one, by his obsession and my resentment.

This place isn't the same. I'm staring at her house, at the empty patch where the blackberry bush used to be and it's not. the. same. Even worse, it's not terrible. The garden is fine and the house has a new coat of paint. The restaurant down the street still has great food. The lake is still cold and beautiful and soul stealing, the small stacks of rocks remain balanced across the beach. My grandma was a breath of life in this small town, and while hers is gone this remains as bright and vibrant as ever. 
Will I leave behind a string of reminiscing family members to stare at my old garden too?

This is not what I thought I'd be doing tonight. I'm staring at Steven as the music swells around us. We're sitting in cheap folding chairs while lasers pierce the darkness and the Transsiberian Orchestra plays above us. This is not what I thought I'd be doing. I'm thrown by this boy. This boy who's making me break all my rules. That should be a problem, but I'm having a hard time caring about his age or his past right now. He catches my stare and holds it, sending my already stunned mind further into the insanity that comes with young feelings. I know what I want and slowly move in. The band is playing only for us in this moment and I'm fully lost.
It's the first kiss of a relationship that will break me. 

My feelings are absurdly peaceful as I hang 200 feet in the air. The rope slides gently through my fingers and I dip backwards in my harness, staring past the cliffside, past the safety monitors, and into open blue skies. There is a wild joy in this and I extend it as long as I can, gently swinging from a cliff in a country that is brand new to me. I'm ignoring the gentle reminders to continue downward and remain stretched out, parallel to the single cloud drifting along with me in my moment. 
When my feet touch the ground my heart stays up high, still soaking in the sun. 

While the mass stares ahead I keep my eyes on my mom. My dad's hand is clenched in hers but neither he, nor I, nor anyone can stop her tears from flowing. That task can only be done by the one who brought us here, the one whose casket is mere feet away. As my mom mourns for her sister I mourn for her. Surely a sibling takes a piece of you with them when they leave forever. 
A piece of my mother is gone, and I cry as much for it as for the lost member of my family. 

I can't stop staring at his message. Of every shitty thing that's hit me this past week, of all the stares, the whispers, the laughter; they're the pin pricks of pettiness. This is a shotgun to my soul. You disgust me. Bang. It hits again, and again I'm bleeding on the floor, or are those just tears? You disgust me. I can't breath. I don't want to. Is this what I get for my one night of distraction. My one night of liberation from the steady heartache. I save my begging for our messages. I won't let this desperation creep into the real world. But now I can't even message him, he won't answer. I never realized a person could do so much damage.
It takes years to shake off the cloak of shame he draped over me so cruelly.

My grandpa is frail and fading. If he could he would leave us right now; save us the hassle of cleaning after him, of paying for his dying moments. He knows it's his time but I want more of it. I want his heart to beat strong and his legs move forward. I am full of selfish desires that he can never fulfill, and for that I'm glad. We know we'll never speak again. We know there's no heaven to reach out for. We know to fully appreciate these last moments because it's all I'll have left. We understand each other, he and I.
He is the first loss I've never been able to shake off.

I'm seeing her, really seeing her for the first time and it is not a pleasant experience. This girl was once my friend yet her words indicate the pent up anger of a slow boiling spite. In our heated exchange I find myself reveling in my anger. She is the target I've needed, a thing to destroy and laugh while I do. Her final insult, slut, gives me a triumphant victory. She receives no pity, and the end of our friendship is not marked with sadness.
I no longer accept the presence of pettiness in my life.  

I'm sitting on this new couch that isn't mine in an apartment that doesn't feel like home surrounded by three girls who barely acknowledge my prescence. I'm sitting here knowing that I should be feeling fine, feeling anything really, but all I have is a deep and unblinking interest in the small knife in my hands. And now, suddenly, the realization that I've never been so deeply unhappy in all my life for no reason at all. I'm tricking myself into thinking that my darkness is just what nothing feels like, that I'm slowly cutting a line in my hand out of curiosity, that crying myself to sleep every night is not worth a closer look. 
Drowning out of water is so easy to overlook.

I've never been stunned by architecture before. My scarf is not quite up to the task of containing my curls as I tilt my head up and up, wholly appreciating the effect of blue and gold hitting my eyes. It fills my heart up, the amount of beauty surrounding me. It's easy to see how a person could connect the feeling of awe with their god, and I can appreciate the effort it took to embody that with brick and tile. This is a place of strange customs and language, yet I feel no discomfort. I take pictures I know cannot capture the true essence of this place and find I cannot stop smiling at the thought. I'm somewhere magical, right at this moment, somewhere spectacular.
I am finding myself inside this adventure.

He is...fascinating. Unstructured. Intimidating, though he doesn't believe that last one. It begins with a drunken kiss in the search for a quiet moment but does not end; only changes. I have never had someone with whom I can share a friendship and a bed and as his hand brushes mine I find myself happy to experience the unique moments of conversing with a person who is smarter than I am. I'm glad to have met such an incredible person. 
He marks the reemergence of my creative mind.

We are each other's first and last friends in Istanbul. I try not to cry as I remember our first fateful walk to campus. We're sitting on our bags, holding each other steady against the stream of commuters who are wholly unaware of the importance in this goodbye. Our tickets are ready, though we are not, and I hug her close. We don't let go and minutes pass by. I put all my thoughts, my appreciation into our final embrace and I know she does the same.
Our friendship of dark humor and bright adventures will never truly leave us.

It's finally time to acknowledge this house is not my home. I embrace my family, my animals, my old bed. I embrace them but find myself unable to shrug off this new feeling of need. It's a desire to leave and fully accept both the old and new of my personality. The girl who belongs in this purple room is not me, not the almost-woman who stands here now. I run my hands across the wall, stopping at each poster and drawing so as to truly feel the shift of perspective. This was a good place to be raised but the rest of my upbringing must be elsewhere. The thought makes me sad, but hope is present as well. 
I think I'm finally ready for the future.


Thank you to whoever kept reading this thing. I appreciate your perseverance. You're now privy to some of the deeper moments of my life; use your knowledge wisely. 
-E.B