Finally I understood. He couldn’t be with a woman like me. He didn’t like hard things. And there I was: thick skin and bruises. I was a proud woman who wore her heart on a chain around her neck, but he had me dressed in shame for all that I could never be – which was less. Less scarred. Less likely to cry. Less likely to say too much. Less likely to embarrass him. Less caustic. Less impulsive. Less like my mother. Less like myself.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I’ll do you wrong but you might do me good. You’re the trouble I was always looking for. We’re getting into it. I’m over my head but you’re still talking about jumping in.
You sing me country songs at Mexican restaurants. You say, “Now this is a folk song; it was never old and never new.” It’s not about love. It’s about time and we’re just in it.
You tell me about your motorcycle and I think, “Cowboy take me away.” We don’t talk about where it’s going.
I carry a bottle of Jack Daniels in my purse for us. We’ve had the best times I’ll never remember. You tell me you’ll forget me when you leave. You say it’s out of sight, out of mind; and you’re losing both of yours.
You say, “I never want the conversation to end.” We drink too much and I tell you that you’re everything I forgot I came from. I’ll never tell you where I want us to go because you make me feel at home. I want us to stay.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Pain is an intimate thing. I’m afraid of intimacy. The hard truth is that it’s people you love who can hurt you the most. They’re the only ones who can get close enough. Close enough to dig their fingernails into your soft places. Close enough to sink their teeth into your bad decisions. Close enough to know where you wear your heart. Close enough to steal it. Close enough to take off running.
So, I will tell my life to you in stories, flexing my past like a muscle. I’ll tell you that I’m tough because those were the kind of times I came from. I will tell you hard and lovely stories. I will let you think you know me. But I know better. I will hurt myself before you have a chance to. You’ll never see it coming because I don’t want to stick around to watch you walk away.
I want you to love me but I don’t know how to be loved.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Some nights when I couldn’t sleep, I would lay awake with your body enveloped in the curve of my own, because that was exactly how you most liked to be held. And in the beginning, when we kissed, it felt like time was rendered obsolete, for it felt like a beginning and a forever simultaneously. And I would think to myself that that must be heaven: time rendered obsolete.
But there were times when every idea I ever had of love and understanding felt crushed by the feeling I had that it would always be possible to awaken in the dark beside your sleeping body and think and write and be someone that you didn’t realize you didn’t know.And so sometimes I would drink until I thought I had drank enough to let you know me, to tell you stories of where I came from, who I had known and who I’d been. They were hard stories that caught in my gin drunk mouth like gravel, crunching and chipping between my teeth. I came out sounding all wrong. But what I was trying to tell you was that someone like you couldn’t possibly love someone like me who had nothing to offer you but a slow smile and a mean tongue. That was the trouble: I loved you as badly and I wanted you to love me but I hated you because when I was with you I couldn’t love myself.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
I hope you get your heart broken. I hope it hurts so much that suddenly country songs make you cry and you finally understand that love is like a folk song: never old and never new. I hope someone you give your heart to hands it back to you in the form of every card, every letter, every gift you ever gave them so you are forced to look at the way you love and learn something. Heartbreak teaches you to appreciate art. Impressionism is largely defined on the inexact perspective from which the artist paints. Memory is largely defined by the inexact perspective of heartbreak. I hope you get some perspective. I hope when your heart breaks, you cry. There are things worth crying over. I hope you lose sleep at night. I hope you spend days lost in your bed and your memories. Heartbreak teaches you what it’s like to lose something you really wanted. It builds character to learn how to lose. I hope when your heart breaks, your whole body hurts and you wonder if a part of you died. I hope it did. It will teach you to live better. I hope you learn to love like it’s something to live for.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Today I can’t write anything new. I can only make edits, only rearrange the syntax of the past. I’ve reached the point in the story at which I have to say, “This happened and it was disappointing and I don’t think I will ever be the same but I will try to be happy. The end.” I can’t write that. I still want my memoir to turn into a fairytale.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Somehow it felt like all anyone can ever ask of the person they love: to try to love them back as best they can. And then he kissed me like the sky was falling. And I thought that if the sky fell and he was looking at me and I was looking at him, everything would be hopeful and mean and beautiful and blue.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Sometimes when I’m walking home from shopping in the east fifties, I pass Fifty Seventh Street and I think how even though I never make that right turn towards Sutton Place and the bench overlooking the East River, that spot with the view of the Queensborough Bridge still exists. Even though I’ve only been there once, I know it by heart.
I know the way the pavement looked beneath my feet in the night. I know the black iron bench and the red brick homes nearby. I know the way the bridge twinkled with the lights of crossing traffic and the way the August air tasted on my tongue. And I know the way your fingers felt on my bare shoulders. I know the way my blue cotton dress felt against the curve of my hips and the way it felt when my elbow brushed against yours. I know the way my bracelet felt cool against my wrist and the way your dirty tennis shoes looked next to my pink sandals. I know the way you looked at me.
I know the full moon hanging low over the rippling black river. I know it was a blue moon. That’s why I never make the right turn on Fifty Seventh Street, towards that bench at Sutton Place. I’m waiting for another blue moon.
I thought about the way we ran, laughing, arm in arm, down 39th Street. And I thought about what I had learned.
The right people can change everything. The wrong people can too.
The right people will love you when you’re crying too loud to hear it, listen to you even if they’ve heard enough, and dance with you because it really does help. Really.
It is lonelier to be with the wrong person than to be alone.
Be with someone who is proud to love you.
Be with someone who is proud to love you.
You don’t have to want something just because you thought you did.
Sometimes knowing who you are is really a matter of figuring out who you’re not. You don’t have to like someone to love them. But it’s better if you do.
Good people do bad things. Sometimes that’s what hurts the most. It's okay to love them anyways.
I’d rather learn the hard way.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
He whispered in my ear, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. I know you’re a nice girl.” Damn right, I thought. I am a nice woman. I am a nice woman who loves her family and her friends. I am a nice woman who goes to work and school. I am a nice woman who has sex when she wants. I am a nice woman kisses a man when she wants. And what are you? A man? Does that mean you don’t have to be nice?