I won’t say that a part of me died that day because I don’t know if that’s true. But it’s close. When you think of Shrodingers cat simultaneously both dead and alive in a box, shouldn’t it might as well be dead? I think about this sometimes: where if at all that piece of me went. If it’ll ever come back. If it might as well be dead in a box. I write a lot about that time thinking it’ll rush back to me but so far it hasn’t. I’ve been drifting around in 2014 for almost 10 years and I’m having a hard time reconciling that it’s been that long since I’ve felt like the whole of me. Some could say that the sad part of me died. Not some significant essential piece but a part that needed to be cut away anyway. A few weeks ago T asked me how I’m doing. He stopped a whole conversation to ask this. Im just so different now, compared to then. He doesn’t mean it in a bad way. On the contrary. He means it with awe, with love and surprise. He means to say that maybe an awful part of me is gone and what’s left is really pleasant. That I seem to be doing really well. It’s hard to describe this happiness without mourning all the loss. When people lose weight they rarely look back longingly at the pounds they shed, but here I am. Wondering if I’m still the same person without that burden. There’s an undercurrent of sadness that I don’t explain very well, and I think that’s mostly because it’s strange to have to convince people that I’m still… what, sad? Is it sadness? What do I call you now? A night, a season. An apartment door closing. The urge to dance aging out of itself. The last copy of a book of poems.
I’ve been avoiding the inevitable – I have to free up the space in my inbox otherwise my gmail will stop syncing. I made a slow attempt and moved for the large files, all videos. I found the one from D’s old Hollywood apartment, when AP used to go by Breezy LJ and J answered to his shorthand stage name. Everyone’s in it. It’s late, I remember, like it always is, and I’m eating Korean food completely sober. The floor is dirtied with pot crumbs. D and I were a lot closer then even though I lived cities away. I clung to his friendship and ignored everyone else, I remember that too. I didn’t like anyone else’s attention, and I guess you could say nothing ever came close. Scrolling further down the list are climbing videos—some sends, some attempts, some of me, some of friends. That was a while ago too, all pre-covid when I was ticking off v6s and 7s every weekend in Bishop. I kept those videos, naturally. But when the next video plays I’m surprised to see my face so close to the lens. It’s just my face. I look the same but I’m years younger. I’m talking to someone and immediately I know who’s speaking back to me. I can hear a softness in your voice. Months before you started yelling when we argued. When you sighed because you were happy, not like the heavy sighs when I cried. Your hands come into the frame and reach for my eyes. I don’t know why we had the idea that it’d be funny for you to take out my contacts for me, but there we were. Your fingertips on my expired contacts, asking me if it hurt. And I’m telling you that it doesn’t hurt at all. How funny. Look how hurt I feel years later. But maybe not the kind of hurt we think of when we think of relationships ending. I’ve felt worse. I feel pains I’ve never gotten over, and probably never will. But you were a years-long crush finally come to fruition. You were supposed to be a lifetime and you ended up being a year. I’ve never been so confined to my bed the way I was the months after. While you roamed Korea looking for business opportunities and played with friends I was withering away in our bed, refusing to eat, spending my every waking hour watching Netflix to drown out the heartache. I cried all the time, whenever I thought of you, sitting down to eat a meal. So I never ate. I felt claustrophobia for the first time in my life. I carried a brown paper bag in my work tote to quell my anxiety attacks. I threw up sleeping medications. I didn’t sleep for two months. I’ve never been so disappointed in my life. That was what you became—a downfall. All 98 pounds of me, letting life move on without me, avoiding friends because they all reminded me of you. Videos like this, the ones that show you the beginning, the before, when everything was perfect, are just reminders of how bad it became. How sad I became. How I had to crawl back to my humanness. Watching you pluck out my contact lenses with old tenderness is bitter. And all I can think about is how much that fucking hurt.
I had a dream about my father and it felt real. Except in the dream, unlike the reality, I came back for him and said that I was sorry. I woke up sobbing and couldn’t stop.
A few months into trying to change my menstrual cycle, I came to terms with the fact that I will start my period the day I land in Hawaii. I bought a lot of black vacation clothing.
I mixed the alcohols again. Somehow I’ve become a more irresponsible drinker as I get older. The wine floating at the top of the toilet bowl reminded me of college. How lonely that felt. How frustrating I must have been for everyone around me.
In another dream, I found out that I was pregnant. I was walking around by myself on the side of my work building and on the verge of tears, thinking how my whole life had become ruined.
The other day I tweaked my back, doing nothing. I’ve taken a lot of advil lately. Headaches, now this.
I haven’t been home as often this week. I discover things late: packages in my name. A new haircut. The gnats from hell.
We missed the thunderstorm. Just a small pile of droplets, all dried by morning. Friends show me footage from outside their work windows, at night from their rooms. I am jealous for the weather I watched from my parents’ patio doorway as a child. The heavy rain against aluminum. Enough lightning to make you believe in god.
Zion should be pretty this time of year. I’m ready to see something different.