I am lonely.
And not much more than that.
2011’s resume belies something much different. An amazing long weekend in Zion (the national park, not the Jewish Holy Land). A 60-day 750 Words streak broken by the Oregon Brewer’s Festival. Firedancing. The first raw oyster. The first birthday of a best friend’s clone/child. The tentative seizure of a quietly whispered dream. A mountain, fought and summitted.
Left to your own devices, you’d scan the year’s activities, MY activities, and the painted girl that danced in your imagination would be tripping the light fantastic, smiling into the sunlight filtering through her lashes.
But instead, you’ve got me, sitting in this back bedroom with drooping eyes, trying to reconcile the truth, the ACTUAL, with the feeling on the inside. Watching the cursor blink against the first honest words I’ve written in months.
No matter how much I pack in, or which smiles are captured in digital Facebook albums, here sits still this grey girl in the back bedroom, skin and soul screaming for touch and certitude. Silent. Struck mute.
I plan and save and finally ANTICIPATE. The days leading up to each new adventure are the manic upswing in this jagged bell curve I’ve been living. At the bottom of my lows, I twitch, and set my mind on something; a spark and I latch on. It’s tiny in the pitch black, but strong, and I wrap my hands around it tightly and let it yank me up through the sludge. My first gasps for air and I’m finally feeling around, back in the light.
It’s the process that brings me back around. From here on out, it’s the autopilot.
Calendars and phone calls, research. Time slots filled, responsibilities laid to willing parties and participants. Polling data. A furious grasping at the original spark. Frenetic setting of the wheels into motion. An exhilarated push to click send, enter, BOOK THIS TRIP.
And here is the delight. The unfiltered sun. The pure joy and the clean, deep breath. Here I revel in what is TO COME. There is an actual calendar. Handwritten. Planned to the day and hour. In these moments and days leading up to The Next, I hold it. I smile over it. I imagine it. It’s Relief on the horizon, and there in my hands. “In X many sleeps, I will be free of The Latest Blackness, and safe in the arms of familiar things.” A newsreel forms, and everything else SHALL PASS because I’ve sewn The Next into my future.
But The Next itself? I hope I enjoyed it while I could, because the beginning of The Next is the first step on the matching descent. In ways, it’s not as real as the filmreel. Will never live up to the constant repeat of The Adventure To-Be. Because it’s happening, playing out, speeding forward and into the past at the same time. There is no pause and The Important Moments are here and then they’ve gone and I’m speeding home on a jet plane before my mind was able to catch up to the trip.
Home again home again, and I’m back in the pit, on my head and not a thing to look forward to. So I plan another trip, a weekend away, and I put off stepping closer to that little dream.
And then Thanksgiving and now Christmas, onward to New Year’s and “Hello!” to a NEW YEAR, a new beginning to the same place. Lipstick on a pig. A re-write of old lies. Assertions. Resolutions.
I can go and come back and reinvent and foolishly state out loud. But I’m still here. A grey girl. In a back bedroom. Pushing away when I should be pulling close.