Week Seventeen: More or Less

17883920_10104280318339798_822271330146057901_nThis novel I am reading is relentless in theme.

“Hell is nothing more or less than the absence of the Beloved.”

There is everything to worry about. There is nothing to worry about.  I am bored with my predictability.  The way I know – and resent – that I am headed down the spiral, but can’t seem to avoid the compelling draw toward the center.

There it is! That tricky rubber band. Pull this way. Snap back. Pull again, this time away. Stretch. So much energy in this tension. So much waste.

Time alone is something to savor. My sister’s inescapable, noisy, life of mothering; crazy normal to her, unthinkable to me. I relish this lazy, simple freedom. I can rise with the sun and take a new to the diner and meditate on the sweetness of steam coming off my coffee.

“Good-bye, darling!” Lucy wipes the counter. Over and over and over.

But, if you missed me. What? What would make this feeling go away? Maybe just knowing what you have planned for the day. Maybe hearing your voice instead of reading a text.  Maybe showing me your work that took so many of our hours. I wouldn’t dare look in your packed bags. You have a right to your privacy. But what I cannot see, I can still feel. You’ve chosen to keep me guessing.

Secrets.  Wearing away. Eroding like wind and rain. Small frictions. It is hard enough to speak. To put these colorful, cacophonous, spicy, hairy, feelings into words. What happens to these tiny modular word trains of thought when they are tapped into a phone?  They become wrapped in gauze.  What’s underneath?  Is it pink, healthy and healed? Or infected and raw?

The time makes me judgmental.  Why do you think of me at 12:20 at night?  Where are you?  Is there sound around you?  Typed phrases do not promise me you are alone. You say you love me.  Except no, the word is wrong. You project that you love me. My phone tells me it is so.  But there is nothing but an opaque screen. Too bright and too small.

This piece is part of the #52essays2017 challenge where I will share one essay a week in 2017. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out writer Vanessa Martir’s website and post about it.

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