emma b. says

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Portland, Year Two

(I sit and stare at the monitor, a blinking thing in this modern age, waiting, anxious, or whatever you want it to be, expectation, fruition, a fall back, an easy blame, the happenstance of imagination, a sleepless night, the postlude of a kiss.)

It was one of those days, you know the kind, the kind where you wish you had a pedometer attached to your best pair of tall boots (why did I wear those fuckers today) when every deadline is FRAUGHT WITH PROFESSIONAL PERIL. I wouldn't ordinarily recklessly allcap -
I am droning where no one gives a fuck about my work life - that seems to be all I am these days.

Two years ago I pulled to the curb in my car laden with all the things I couldn't live without and I started over. Today in an email to P I said, there are all these things, little measures, that I thought I couldn't do without. I haven't had a pedicure and I gave up waxes (what's the point) but the haircuts and the color.... I haven't had a haircut since May and last night I home colored. And now it's kind of orange. Jesus Christ.

When, how? When, how, did it cease to matter, was it all about the money, was it the difference between a sort of manageable gentility, laissez-faire, faut vouloir, to, to - I have paid the last of my bills and I have forty fucking dollars before I get paid in a week and I haven't been fucking laid in nine months and I take a breath and I gain five pounds and I have great friends here but I am dangerously close to expiring from loneliness, a hot, holistic loneliness, yet no amount of bossinesss on the part of my little brother and all of those who think I might possibly merit a little bit of love can make yield - to probability, though I dream of it, that I do.

Things change, that they do. Inevitably, without any kind of forethought, life just serves up what it it will.

And then there is this. Three Sundays back, Puget Sound. It's just before seven in the morning, the sun is low slung, but clear and it couldn't possibly ever be anymore lovely and it's weird, because I should be asleep, but I can't sleep, and I haven't slept at this point for awhile and I still haven't slept. Micah and I get into the sea kayaks. Or, I get into the sea kayak, scoot into it. One never has adequate words for paradise, not enough poetry in the universe to phrase paradise.

Because paradise is half hung over on a fjord in a little kayak that taxes your abdominals. And paradise is the sea urchins below and the Olympic range behind. And paradise is the cool wind in your face and splash of an oar, and paradise wants to paddle out to where land meets sea and then crest the surf. Paradise is picking oysters and digging for clams at low tide.

Paradise is gliding though tar-black waters, towards an unending middle, towards an unattainable bay, when the sun is at your left shoulder and you don't have any sunblock on, out there where the silence is deafening and a mere ripple could send you into that cold, clear, welcoming deep. Drop a hand into the water, balance your oar, hold your middle, turns out that crazy Russian lady was right, it's all ballet after all, water is cold. Later you will swim, as the tide rumbles in, you will swim, because you have been dared and also because there is nothing like salt water for floating, and you want to keep going to the buoys, but it's sort of lethally cold, because summer is gone. Because that weekend, from Sunday to Monday, Autumn decended.

But in the morning, where it is lovely, just lovely, for the first time in a long, long time, I prayed.

Later, I steamed clams in white wine and bourbon, I half-assedly crossed myself. It seemed appropriate.