Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
to be honest, i'm pretty unsure about coming home. i hate admitting this. i'm usually so sure about every decision i make. so decisive. and too proud to admit second thoughts - about anything. it feels premature sometimes. like a baby bird pushed from the nest too early. or like a premature baby - not, quite, ready to leave the safety and warmth and peace to emerge into the world. and be, somehow, a normal person.
the first sunday i got here, i went to church. i saw ed williams. i saw his big white beard. i saw his bushy white hair. i saw his smile. his warmth. i saw Him. ed sat next to me in church. we were singing this song - i don't like the rest of the song, but most of it just goes, "your love is extravagant, your friendship is intimate, i feel i'm moving to the rhythm of your grace, your fragrance is intoxicating in a secret place, your love is extravagant." i cried most of the way through this song. and there was something about hearing ed sing next to me, a grown man, in a raspy voice, sing along. and mean it. with his eyes closed. i hoped the song would never end. that was the last time that i've cried.
i don't quite know what to say about leaving. this time has been precious. this time has been the first real peace i've ever known. it's been a life without any obligation - without worry, care, purpose. to the normal world - this time looks really useless and meaningless. the act of waiting, sitting - the practice of stillness usually does appear pointless to the normal world. it's been the longest period of happiness in my life. like an old man singing a love song to Him. slow. simple. quiet. no hurry. nothing particularly wonderful.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
i'm sitting on the floor of your friend's apartment. they are hardwood floors - light in color. yellow. it's new years eve - well, now it's new years day. i'm freezing. the kind of freezing that they describe as "to the bone." i'm sitting on a heating pad, sometimes holding it on my back, between my fingers, on my stomach, on my neck. maybe he forgot to turn on the heat. why didn't i ask for a blanket? why didn't i insist on sitting on the couch? why was i on the ground? you probably asked me if i wanted to sit on the chair - but i've always hated folding chairs, so i probably said no. i'm sitting on my coat which is acting as a really poor insulator between me and the ground. i'm ready to leave.
earlier that day we went to the liquor store in east liberty. you bought me gin. we weren't going to spend new years together. that's when we were still like that - before things fell apart the first time - luckily, after that first time, there wasn't a second time. you'd buy me my gin, i'd go with my friends, you'd go with yours, and we'd see each other the next day. i went to sushi with lacy and her boyfriend. after dinner with them, i think i missed you. or maybe i trusted you. or maybe i just wanted you. whatever it was, it was enough that i was willing to spend the night with you, your friends, your ex-girlfriend and her whole family. it had to have been trust.
they dropped me off downtown at a jazz club. your friend was playing piano in the band. i saw your ex-girlfriend and thought she was cute - adorable - i understood what you had seen in her. because i think i saw some of it in her too. i remember dancing with you. with you, and with all of them. i was glad matt was there. he always made things easier for me. more than anything, i remember having a good time. i remember having a good time with you. and with them. and with your ex-girlfriend and her family.
i was ready to leave. it was getting late. and i couldn't stand being cold much longer. plus i knew we still had a long walk. and you were ready too, i think. we're walking up shady avenue with matt. i didn't wear socks that night. i am colder than i ever remember being. in my mind, i'm comparing the ascent up shady avenue to climbing everest - i'm thinking this will be a good psychological trick to make the walk seem better, in the end. we get to your house and part ways with matt. i think you might have hugged him. i hope you did.
we get into bed and you lay, what i remember being, about 1,000 blankets on us. including the soft pinkish redish one that i liked the most. i'm shivering now. eventually, our warmth warms me. you probably fell asleep before me. that's how it usually went. and i probably laid in bed all night feeling confused about what had just happened. did i really just have fun with you and your ex-girlfriend? were you really that good?
from the school's courtyard, i could see the houses of the hill. falling apart, brick, empty, tired, hopeless, sad. the houses are characters to me, in the narrative of this neighborhood and these people. trying to imagine these kids living here was difficult. i knew their parents and loved all of them and was loved by most of them, but i didn't know their houses. what were their bedrooms like? did they sleep on the floor? i used to ask them. i knew they were lying to me most of the time.
i remember this being a happy time in my life. i usually settle into winter better than the other seasons. i like the cold. i don't particularly like the sun. i had a job that i loved. i was taking classes at duquesne and would go to to them after work at the hill house. i thought my classes were fine - and i enjoyed the company of the people. it felt good to be around normal people. i would leave class around 9 and go to the studio with laurie, we'd make stuff, we'd eat guacamole, we'd drink and dance and talk about boys. i'd just started dating a boy.
i was lost in my thoughts then, as i am now. and i don't think i noticed him for a few minutes. he was quiet, silent, still. something kids rarely are. i looked down at him. standing there, next to me, his head at my hip. david was a kindergartner who i had trouble connecting with. a strange kid. a good artist, though. i remember very little about him except for this. except for this moment together. we didn't talk. we just stood there and watched the snow and the birds and the sun set.