"There are years that ask questions, and there are years that answer." - Zora Neale Hurston
these will be the days. i will look back on these days and call them, "the days." i'll ask, "laurie, do you remember the days on friendship avenue?" and we'll laugh - of course we'll remember the days. the days of christmas tree lights. the december that we never left our apartment. the days when had 500 chocolate covered pretzels. we'll remember the days, when for once, even if for just a little while, we were both happily in relationships. we'll remember the days of summer when our apartment smelled like cat, and we layed in my bedroom for hours - and hours - sleeping and waking in front of the air conditioner. we'll remember the days before the air conditioner. we'll remember the time that we were infested by billions of flies. we'll remember sweeping them up with a vacuum cleaner. we'll remember the night that laurie spray painted blue paint all over friendship avenue after our first night of drinking while snowed in during the greatest snow storm of our lives, so far. we'll remember those two nights, and we'll remember the people who we loved. the people who we loved at a distance, too - we'll remember jason. who read my future. and told me everything. and saw into my soul. we'll remember nights with ricky. and we'll remember monk's macaroons. we'll remember the summer days, stumbling home, with steve linked between us, tearing stuff up. we'll remember the days when we laid on the ground, holding hands, listening to that martha wainwright song. we'll even remember the days when it was hard - when i painted black lines on my windows, wrote letters to each other, and tried our hardest, and missed the days - only, different days - the days on graham street. the smell of the incense. we'll remember the trip to west virginia, when we were lost in the woods while it was raining. we'll remember how wet our tent got. we'll remember those days. we'll remember our first fight. we'll remember trying, really hard, to make things right. to be good to the people who we love and who love us. we'll remember failing at this. we'll remember sun bathing on the roof. we'll remember when laurie moved to new york. we'll remember when chris and lacy visited over their first anniversary, and we all put our money together to buy them a hotel room to celebrate. we'll remember sitting on the porch with people we love, paul, and chris and lacy, and jenn, and dan, and krystal - and bishop - and everyone, jon too, and we'll remember all singing together their wedding song to them. we'll remember singing kathy's song. we'll remember our record players. we'll remember loving boys. we'll remember how they loved us. we'll remember giving and taking and getting hurt and hurting. we'll remember how hard we tried. that's what we'll remember the most.
some day, i'll look back on this year, and i'll long for it. i'll remember loving my parents. and feeling like i finally knew them. i'll remember reaching that relationship with them that i'd always wanted to reach. i'll remember finally feeling free and happy around my brother. i'll remember hiking with my dad in new hampshire. i'll remember realizing what makes a father's love for his daughter so special. i'll remember my mom's honesty, and courage, and daring love for me. i'll remember derek's warmth and love. i'll remember him like a big blanket: comfortable and close and soft. i'll remember his kindness. i'll remember record stores and mineo's pizza. i'll remember quitting a job i hated by sending an email. i'll remember starting a new job, and falling in love with some new kids who've become closer to me than most people in my life. i'll remember summer park benches with kristin mclain, i'll remember getting to share that love for those kids with her. i'll remember swimming in water fountains in oakland and the way mariah tillman looked when she took her hair out of her pony tail. i'll remember how wild she was, how brave she was, how strong she was - i'll remember how much i learned from a kindergartner. i'll remember going to california. i'll remember getting haircuts and finally learning to brush my teeth daily. i'll remember getting to live in the same city as steve, and driving to south carolina together, and standing in the snow for hours together in west virginia.
i will have learned about balance. i will have learned about honesty. i will have learned about compromise: the things i will give up, and the things that i won't. i will have learned what it means to live in the tension between things, to live life when things are confusing and awkward and hard. i will have learned what it means to live when life feels like it's a struggle. i will have learned about loving my family, my best friend, and a boy. i will have learned about loss and gain. i will have learned about my desires and wants and needs. i will have learned how to fight for the things that matter. i will have learned about waiting. i will have learned that even years that seem useless and motionless will become the years that you love with fondness and tenderness, they'll be the years that teach you slowly, the years that define you, the years that test you and challenge you, the years that make you who you are.
happy new year.