Last night I dreamt that I got in a huge fight with the girlfriend of a boy I liked and today a boy I know better than to like texted me out of the blue because that’s what he does—shows up when it’s time for me to move on.
And they’re men now, have been for longer than I want to think about, and the one I’m going on a date with next week has a name which is also a color and somewhere inside me is this bone hollow place where I can’t figure out how to feel about small facts. Names, tastes of things, upturned glances.
There’s a pile of clean laundry that’s been sitting in the rocking chair in my room for a week now. Just long enough to get so impossibly wrinkled it probably makes more sense just to wash the whole load again than try to spend all that time ironing.
I’m 28 now and nothing miraculous is happening—I sprained my ankle the other day falling down stairs the same way I would have when I was 25. Texting my mother from the ER while they were waiting for a doctor to decide if it was broken I said, Everyone wants me to be more worried than I am but I’ve hurt myself so many times that it’s just boring now. and she wrote back, You are your mother’s son.
Which was comforting because it’s nice to be from someplace; to have origin points, a little solid ground you can stand on when you’re trying to figure out what you stand for. In the bar I tell someone that being President requires more than just loving America—in fact would you trust a President who loved America the way it is now? Who didn’t dream that we could do better; that we could be brighter than we were?
I’ve been dreaming these impossible things for so long, boyfriends I love enough to fight someone for, an America that isn’t lethal to the people I love most. I’m running out of spaces to put small things I want to remember. Your name which is also a color. To water the plants before I leave in the morning. Nothing is hard; but nothing is easy either. My boss reminds me to put commas in when I start sentences with prepositional phrases.
It’s a small thing that I’ll promise to remember and later, when I promise myself that I’ll remember the taste of this particular snow in the back of my throat, I’ll forget.
I say to someone, over a drink, When were you first touched by wanting? and I make a point of not letting them answer.