Sunday, July 8, 2012

Salt in My Mouth

Tumultuous. When I was a kid, I'd wade waist-deep into the ocean and face the approaching waves. It seemed necessary that I do this, that I let myself ride alongside the cresting sea foam, to give in to the rhythmic pull of nature. But sometimes a wave would rush in, too large for my skinny little-kid body, and I would tumble feet over head into the current, salt rushing into my nose and mouth.

I never learned how to swim. For those few seconds I lost myself in the wave, lost sense of gravity and the sun and the comforting tug of earth, I thought I might drown. Each and every time. It was terrifying. 

Don't ask me why I kept doing this to myself.

I'm tumbling through a gigantic wave as I type these words. My heartbeat caught in my throat.

I want to know where the goddamned ground is. That soft layer of sand, solid under my feet. Right now, life is uncertain, stormy, and scary as hell.

I feel a confession coming on.

There are things that haunt me. I know I intended trying to live without regret. I'm working on it. But I still have some. Old ones, fading thin-white like scars. New ones, crimson and wince-painful.

Everything I didn't say. The courage that slipped out from under me like an unreliable Peter Pan shadow. Walking away when I shouldn't have. Or staying when I should have walked away.

Just. Know that I feel more strongly than I let on. Sometimes feelings rush and burn through me like a brilliant summer day. I'm afraid of getting hurt. I'm afraid of letting other people in. 

I used to like the idea of pretty little vignettes, with a beginning and an end. I wanted to keep my life contained in that way, compartmentalized, without messiness or drama.  To keep people at arm's length. To say definitely to myself: and that's the end of that.

Just. Know that I meant to do things differently. There are so many yous I'm speaking to right now. So many invitations I should have accepted, or extended; eyes I should have looked into; notes/emails I should have written; phone calls I should have made; people I admired who I let walk out of my life without a word. A casual "hey, want to get dinner sometime?" is so hard for me, even in the most innocuous of situations. I don't remember the last time I asked anyone to lunch, or coffee, or just to hang out in a smoky bar.

Just. Know this. Even if you don't read this blog, or know I have a blog, or that blogs even exist in the world, because you no longer exist in this world. Know this somehow, anyway. That I wish we had that lunch/dinner/coffee/drink. That I could have known you better. 

And if once I tumble out of this wave, I will reach out and tell you this. And I will try not to be afraid. 

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