It’s turned into a month of improvisation. Even my regular events are being rescheduled, so I’ve lost the only anchors I have to a normal week. It’s hard to make plans when I don’t know how I’ll feel from one day to the next. Harder when I don’t know the next chance I’ll have to spend with the people who love me the way I need to be loved. I can tell it’s been too long when I start to dwell on my insecurities, and the days feel more and more heavy.
I’m letting this period be a way for me to ease away from alternating between isolation and anxious clinging. Being busy is forcing me to pay attention to the current moment. To be present with the person I’m with, but more importantly, with myself. Otherwise, I can’t handle the thought of how much stimulation I’m facing.
Slippers, because she needs to find ways to be more comfortable in her day-to-day life.
Dolly’s been sleeping on my duvet again, an old habit of hers. It’s a sign that fall is here, as she prefers to swaddle in the dark when it gets too cold by the window. She also recently decided to start sleeping on my pillow, and I can feel her purring through my skull, a new and unexpected development in our relationship. I love the fact that I’m still learning things about her, that she’s still capable of change as she approaches a decade with me. As always, I have the fall to thank.
A lot of progressive trance has been in the mix during all this upheaval. It’s a genre I’ve never purposely explored until recently. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my own covers interesting by adding lots of dynamic elements and making sure phrases aren’t used too often. These DJs do the exact opposite with lots of repetition and minimal elements, yet somehow make each song a journey in itself. It’s a pleasant puzzle to try to solve. Now I have many new addictions that have been perfect for night time rides and counting yellow highway lines.
I wonder if these songs will end up reminding me of a time I’m constantly being broken down so I can heal properly. The old ones don’t mean the same thing anymore.
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.
That little furrow was there because you weren’t. That’s why you never saw it, of course. You must think I hate you cause it was the only thing I couldn’t help her with myself. But I could never hate you. You gave her what she wanted. In the end, that’s all I really wanted too.
I knew it was serious when I saw your umbrella under her bed, back when she hid those kinds of things for my sake. You never realized she only took it as an excuse to see you again (not because she was particularly scared of getting her merino socks wet), the same way you never realized how easy it all was for you. That was a sign that you were the right one. I knew it before she did.
If only there was a bit of mystery left in you. Instead, I had you pegged by the second night, and all I can tell people is that you’re a nice guy, when I want to say you’re an artist, a lover, a fighter, a worthy rival, a slayer of insecurities, a breaker of barriers, a testament to testosterone, a hero among men. She deserves more than the painfully pedestrian life you’ve given her, but I know she’s had enough of heartbreak to think that normal is hard enough to come by. And so I’ve learned that a person’s happiness is all that matters, not the dreams you have for them. I guess it’s hard to give up those dreams when you’re part of them yourself.
I want to say I’m leaving for some noble reason of great importance, but it’s really because there’s nothing left for me in this little town. I used to believe I could escape; eventually I realized you can’t outrun your memories. Now I’m just trying to figure out where I belong. She was all I knew for so long, and now that life is gone.
And so I must tread carefully with new lovers; it’s impossible for me to tell my story without that part of my past. That’s why I wonder what she told you about me, about us. About losing feeling in her face and letters you wouldn’t know how to write. If she intentionally left anything out, or whether our time was even worth mentioning. But the past is still the past, and that’s the only reason I can write a letter now to the man who saved her without ever knowing it.
There’s nothing in this world you can’t turn into heroin.
—Get Him to the Greek
At our last draft, Steph asked me what was new. It was weeks since we played, but nothing came to mind, and it felt strange to have no updates at all. It was only a few months ago that things fell apart. Things had been changing quickly ever since.
And then, all of a sudden, stability.
Meanwhile, I’ve picked up an obsession with sorting my Magic cards. Darren came by a few weeks ago and he gave me his collection, which we both started around high-school. I have about 8000 cards now, ordered by rarity, colour, block, and alphabetically, which took me the greater part of a week. There’s no denying how satisfying it is to have a neat and organized set, where I can quickly find a card instead of going through random handfuls.
I also started watching Cops, seasons 20–24, non-stop. A strange addiction for a reality TV show that’s no doubt biased in favour of law enforcement and against low-income citizens, but not glorified with a narrator, a soundtrack, or any monetary incentives. After watching the same episodes a few times, I feel like I have some intimate insight into the people who choose to break the law, and those who make careers out of stopping them.
They’re signs that I’m a glutton now, having to lose myself in something, whether it’s being productive or social or happy.
Love used to be my drug of choice, but nowadays it’s anything I can get.
trying new foods with my Uncle Joe and the fascination I used to have for Six Feet Under and being able to sleep more than four continuous hours and guitar lessons and the sound girls make when you squeeze them just right and the idea of camping but not the actual act and remembering how to play Sunny Road and Trolley and Steph already and snow and people-watching when taking the bus and long-term relationships and
these kind of moments before we all partake and
the smell of rain in Paris and makeouts and knowing what to say to people when they ask me how I’m doing and being led by the hand to the bedroom and being called Jeffy Bear and having a reason to wear Classic by Banana Republic and getting really excited and being pursued by someone I’m not trying to avoid and the time in my life before all this medication and having someone I could call my best friend and cuddling and walks and old /b/ and Bruce Springstein before he went rock and no one I shouldn’t and having a Tai Chi teacher and
little bums like this and
knowing how to play piano and pouncing on survivors with Dave and Tyler and having a stable source of income and being part of her life and having her in mine and Hawaiian sunsets and finding sales for clothes that fit me and playing songs for Antje and the intimacy of oral and simultaneous orgasms and sex, obviously and having someone to spoil and new episodes of Reno 911 and hosting big parties and the way Leonard would sleep on my neck.