Posts tagged with "memories"

in the absence of light

It’s been weeks since I left the house for any­thing but a doctor’s appoint­ment, maybe three times since November. I miss the win­ter, even though it’s right out­side my door. I miss my friends, even though they’re rarely more than a short trip away. It’s espe­cially hard not being able to explain the dis­tance. All I can do is hope they trust me when I don’t feel com­fort­able explain­ing, and try not to feel inse­cure about being so out of touch.

Sometimes, the thought of being away from my safety zone fills me with dread. Other times it’s just eas­ier to not do any­thing. I barely man­age the effort to wash my hair once a week, and the only rea­son I shave is to more eas­ily wipe off the vis­cid sad­ness that so often vis­its my face. I sus­pect I wouldn’t even be eat­ing if it weren’t for the fact that Heather enjoys tak­ing care of peo­ple to ful­fill her own need for secu­rity. She’s lived here a few months, and she’s already mak­ing sure the cats have their teeth brushed every day and all the bills are paid. I’ve barely known her for twice that time, and I’ve never been more depen­dent on any­one in my life.

It feels like I’ve taken two steps back, but I’m at this point cause it means I’m safe enough to start pro­cess­ing and under­stand­ing the things that led to me try­ing to hang myself from the rail­ing of my stair­case a year ago. I haven’t fig­ured out what it means to keep going, when for so long I believed my life was lead­ing up to that moment, and stick­ing around wasn’t a choice I made for myself. Just fig­ur­ing out how to write about such a large and com­plex expe­ri­ence is often too much. I’m left bro­ken when I sim­ply want to understand.

I’m learn­ing that recov­ery isn’t a binary process, but a jour­ney with strug­gles and tri­umphs. I still suf­fer the trauma of being moments away from dying. I’m still haunted by the guilt of sur­vival. With so many hair-triggers that lead to wholly con­sum­ing break­downs, I can’t deny I’m not the per­son I used to be. Right now, it’s hard enough just try­ing to be okay with that.

a quiet moment

I took a break from gui­tar. Not a con­scious deci­sion, just days that were busy enough that I didn’t think of pick­ing her up, which means I don’t even know how long I’d stopped. All I know is that it was long, cause I feel the strings vibrat­ing through every piece of wood that touches my body now, one of those sen­sa­tions you stop notic­ing after enough time.

I haven’t had much to say either. Nothing seems impor­tant. At the same time, I’m try­ing to move away from this social media over­load, where so many peo­ple speak only cause the power to do makes them believe they should. It’s mak­ing the gaps between my entries longer and longer, and I won­der if I’ll even­tu­ally stop writ­ing altogether.

getting dressed

 

All I have are mem­o­ries of lives I lived so long ago that I feel like I’m watch­ing them in 8mm. The friends and the lovers, the love and the hate, the cycles and the pat­terns. I’m only now sort­ing out the mean­ing of each one, maybe cause I’ve finally grown enough to under­stand myself and my rela­tion­ship with the world at large. It’s com­fort­ing to see how far I’ve come when com­par­ing the per­son I am now to each per­son I used to be.

But such progress came at the cost of my inno­cence; we aren’t always ready to learn the harder lessons, and sur­viv­ing some­times means we change in ways that pre­vent us from becom­ing the peo­ple we’re meant to be. I’m try­ing to take back that inno­cence now, cause I know my hap­pi­ness is at stake.

This is a picture I didn't take

Of you, arms up and chest out, body crash­ing against the surf. Top pulled back into place with each wave, bot­toms adjusted as needed. A splash of rain on a flower soon to burgeon.

In that instance I became aware of what was hap­pen­ing in myself. I could look at it clearly, and saw it as it was because it was already there, part of my expe­ri­ence in that moment, for bet­ter or for worse. I allowed myself to be exactly as I was with­out fear or shame. Detached yet present. Mindful to how I’ve longed to feel this for some­one again, and how I’ve never fully sur­ren­dered myself to it until now. A rea­son for the lyrics in the awk­ward smiles, the molto crescendo in every inci­den­tal touch.

This is a pic­ture I didn’t take of you, a mem­ory from which I can’t seem to look away. A moment I carry with me to remind myself that I can love again.

in the arms of men

My wit and my elo­quence are not at their best at this par­tic­u­lar moment, which is why I have no quick riposte to your rib­bing. All my humour is dry and self-deprecating any­way. It’s mak­ing me won­der if you think I can’t take an Asian joke or two. The truth is, I don’t know how to make fun of any­one but myself.

Too bad you’ve got piss tests com­ing up. We’ve got this bal­cony, the right occa­sion, and I don’t drink any­more. Doesn’t mean I can’t lis­ten to your war sto­ries, or dan­gle in the air when you give out bear hugs. Perhaps I’d be less awk­ward when it comes to such bond­ing if I was in high-school JV foot­ball. Seth made the team one year, and scored a touch­down for guys like us.

downtown Ottawa

 

I remem­ber you. Iain and I went to buy a $5 hit off your bong 10 years ago, back when we cut our teeth on prairie fires and five-cent wings and I’ll-never-do-that-again. You were danc­ing to jazz by your­self in a beater and per­pet­ual Kangol when we walked in, but you wore no shame on your face. The world is small when our lives are not.

Last time I saw Iain was at the house­warm­ing, but I still think of him every time I use those crys­tal glasses he gave me that day. He would have wanted them filled with some­thing tight-bodied and twelve-years old. Nowadays all I can take is a lit­tle Bailey’s on my Mayan choco­late Häagen-Dazs. Luckily they’re also per­fect for ice cream.

bachelor

 

I’ve long missed these nights. Breathing fresh air when step­ping out of a stuffy bar. That sud­den calm when com­ing out of the din. Big groups with the chance to change con­ver­sa­tions. Nights that have been replaced by din­ners with nuclear fam­i­lies and one-on-ones. Oddly enough, the only thing in com­mon are sto­ries of how one’s son is learn­ing to play with his dick. The world would have me believe that a man isn’t made by the drinks he orders but by the atten­tion he gives his kids.

If only I didn’t have to go so soon. I’ve never been to the peel­ers in Ottawa, and I can only imag­ine where my bills will end up.

found and lost

I don’t know how to tell my friends about you. What am I sup­posed to say? That all we shared was some tea and talk and those four hours are rea­son I still believe in chem­istry after all the prac­ti­cal fail­ings of my past rela­tion­ships? And how do I bring you up, now that it’s been so long I won­der if you even remem­ber me?

Perhaps you wouldn’t be in my mind so often if Green Eyes wasn’t one of my favourite songs. It always takes me back to those days on the mend, when all I had was your brother — singing with a voice like it was soaked in Scotch and left to dry on a line in win­ter — to give me some­thing new to love. You were the one to give me some­thing to be excited about when it felt like noth­ing mat­tered any­more, and just as much became an inex­tri­ca­ble part of that time.

That’s why I haven’t for­got­ten you. That’s why I never will.

I can still see the cav­a­lier way you’d toss your curly hair over your head every now and then, as if you were per­pet­u­ally decid­ing how best to wear it. I’ve come to appre­ci­ate that kind of casual come­li­ness, and the fact that you were so unaware of it made it all the more endearing.

We were sup­posed to start a band of our own. I’d pick up key­board or cello if you wanted to stick with gui­tar, we’d do cov­ers of Andrew Vincent, open for house shows, and get signed to Kelp some day. Instead, all I have is a pic­ture of you danc­ing at the Raw Sugar, and what if for­ever on my lips.

I may hardly know you, but the truth is I miss you. I still want you in my life. I want to know where you’ve been and who you’ve loved, what you’re danc­ing to and how else your cre­ativ­ity has taken form. But all I can do is won­der if our paths will ever cross again.