A letter

storm cloudsI wanted to write to you, to tell you that I’m trying really hard to be positive right now. That I’m trying really hard to think about the things that can go right instead of the things that have gone wrong. I wanted to write and tell you about my friend who’s had his heart taken out of his body and reassembled with bits from his leg and then stuffed back in his chest like so much straw.

I wanted to say this is all so much. It’s all happening so fast, rain drops pummelling tender seedlings down into the soil instead of nourishing them with a gentle mist. That the weight of that rain pelting my skin is very heavy. I wanted to tell you that all I want to do is sleep, to lie out in the sun and sleep. Plant a garden, watch the flowers grow and bud and bloom and die back. That I want to get away from all of this madness and just be somewhere where I don’t have to make decisions and I can read books all day and eat grapes from a cool bowl.

Actually I don’t much care for grapes most of the time. They’re too much like eyeballs and sometimes the burst of juice is terribly offputting. But I like the phrase “peeled grapes” an awful lot and the image of a well-oiled cabana boy feeding me peeled grapes pleases me, so even if I’m not particularly fond of them, I’ll let my cabana boy feed them to me before he rubs my feet and tells me I’m beautiful. So beautiful.

I wanted to post this on my blog but I think it’s too close, too much, too revealing. It would be letting the world see in – or at least the portion of the world that sees my corner of it – and I don’t know if that’s what I really want. I wanted to write to you and ask you if I should post this on my blog or just keep it between us.

I wanted to say that every time I see a photograph of a storm cloud, I identify with that storm cloud. With the active electrons all bouncing around in there, their little mosh pit of thermodynamics and vortices, like thoughts, like feelings, that’s me. I feel the skin between my brows furrow when I’m least expecting it and I ask myself whether that’s myopia or just my own little tropospheric disturbance.

I feel like everyone, everything is taking just a little piece of me away and I am beginning to not recognise the pieces that are left.

Do you think time ever slows back down? That you can get back that sense that summer is going on forever and the freezie you’re eating is going on forever and the orange crush you snuck out of the big fridge in the basement is going to last forever even though it won’t be cold forever. Do you think you can just lie on a thick towel or a denim blanket on the sand and close your eyes and stop the world moving? Not in the way that would make people fly off the face of the earth, but in the way that we could just steal these tiny moments just for ourselves now and then? I think we can’t, but I wish we could.

I wanted to write to tell you that every time someone tells me how strong I am I feel like a fraud because I’m not strong. I’m tender and raw but maybe my secret is that I regenerate. Or maybe I haven’t any secret other than that I’m a fraud. That every time I think I know what I’m doing I’m reminded that there is no such thing as knowing and every time I think I have a stable footing I’m reminded that all rivers have currents that will wash away the sand under my feet only some rivers do it quickly and some take an entire lifetime.

All of these things I wanted to say to you. There are many reasons I didn’t. Many reasons I haven’t. There’s only one reason I may have for sending it along, and that is to feel like there is a connection out there still. A connection with someone. Someone real.

Always,
J

  13 comments for “A letter

  1. 12 June 2015 at 11:13 pm

    My husband was reassembled like that 17 years ago, and is doing fine (at 67).

    I hope things go as well for your friend, and new technology makes it even better.

    It is the scariest thing he’s gone through – and wasn’t easy on the rest of us. It is over now. Take care of yourself – or at least THINK of taking care of yourself. I read somewhere that you can’t serve from an empty pitcher. Maybe that will be helpful.

    I’ll be thinking of you.

    • 13 June 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Thank you, Alicia. That does help.

      He’s a stubborn bugger, and I’m sure he will make a full recovery.

  2. 12 June 2015 at 11:15 pm

    “I feel like everyone, everything is taking just a little piece of me away and I am beginning to not recognise the pieces that are left.” …”every time someone tells me how strong I am I feel like a fraud because I’m not strong…” I feel this way all the time. I understand it or at least a part of it. There IS someone to connect to out here. The only problem is that I feel the same way you do. But I hear there’s safety in numbers.

    • 13 June 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Let’s form a gang, Stu. We can roam around the alleyways and rumble with the greasers.

  3. 13 June 2015 at 9:18 am

    as Alicia says, just think about taking care of yourself. this life is hard work. and wanting to return to summer days where time stood still is completely understandable. but thankfully you’re in the today and technology has improved.

    stay human, snotty tears and all.

    • 13 June 2015 at 2:25 pm

      STUPID SNOT.

      Thanks. It means a lot.

  4. Alma
    17 June 2015 at 9:37 am

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul for your support and courage. From great emotion comes great friendship. And you are truly a great friend. I wish I had the words to ease your pain. I am taking comfort in your words and am finding kinship in the emotions. This too will pass. You are an exceptional person and I am truly grateful for you. Take care of yourself please and know that you are valued beyond words.

    • 26 June 2015 at 3:39 pm

      *blush* Well. If nothing else comes of the last six months, I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to get to know you, Alma. You’re awesome!

  5. Karen Bolstad
    17 June 2015 at 10:31 am

    Sending you a hug, J, a great big hug!

    • 26 June 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Thanks, Karen. Hugs are awesome!

  6. Suz
    18 June 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I enjoyed our parting hug today a lot. I was in tears by the end. I you received as much as I did in it. All my love.

  7. 22 June 2015 at 10:01 pm

    “I wanted to say that every time I see a photograph of a storm cloud, I identify with that storm cloud. With the active electrons all bouncing around in there, their little mosh pit of thermodynamics and vortices, like thoughts, like feelings, that’s me.”

    This is the part I’ve been relating to in the last month or so.

    Been thinking about you lately.

    • 26 June 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Something in the air, perhaps.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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