What is your most beloved possession? This question always breaks my heart.
Truth be told, I’ve been dreading trying to write out my thoughts on this. The people I went to school with know me as a verbose anti-authoritarian, not one to shy away from loudly voicing my opinion when the time calls. But this has been harder to talk about, because I’m afraid what I have to say isn’t what people are expecting or hoping for. So I’m going to do this the only way I know how: I’m taking a shot of whiskey and doing my best.
I am haunted by the quiet spaces of comfort in my life. They creep up on me and envelop my body, like a warm blanket that smothers a child.
I think I’m getting soft in my old age. I remember huddles of grown ups warning me of this as a child, whenever a sympathetic bank commercial played or a teary-eyed celebrity thanked her mother in a grandiose acceptance speech. “Someday you’ll understand,” they’d say to me, carefully dabbing beneath their mascara. “Someday you’ll cry at silly things too.
I can’t wait for the day that I look down at my own body and feel at home.
My sister and I used to run cross-country in high school. It was a miserable routine of 6+ miles a day, usually across treacherous terrain, and in tropical humidity. But our team bonded over the pain, and our commiseration was a community of its own. One particularly rainy day, our coach, a fierce and competitive young woman, whispered - “You know what? Let’s just watch movies about running today!” We ran inside and flopped on the couch, breathless and giddy, promising not to tell anyone about our secret day off.
A boy accused me once of “being one of THEM,” one of the pedestrian everybodies, those terrible people who I thought we were mocking and judging together. He used to tell me he was red, the only True color. And the Others, they were blue.
The funny thing about "rock bottom" is that it's not an event, it's an action. It's that feeling in your gut when you miss a step walking downstairs, but that feeling goes on, and on, and on. It's not a nightmare that you wake up from, it's just your life.
Once upon a time, I waited tables at a corporate chain restaurant, the kind of place where the Sunday brunch crowd were almost entirely fresh out of church. On one particularly relentless weekend, the oldest and most conservative guests seemed to be exclusively sat in my section.
My life was about to change forever. I had said goodbye to him, and we knew, just like that: we would never see each other again. I had gotten onto that plane with a dress in my bag for his funeral, but he never could keep his promises. Although it was not the goodbye I was expecting, it felt like a death all the same.