Saturday, August 18, 2012

You know that feeling...

when you walk into a dark room and you see yourself in the mirror and you think it's a ghost only it's just plain old you but it's been so long since you really looked at yourself that you didn't recognize your own face and the hair on the back of your neck stands up all tingly and you're like "holy shit, who's that"? Yeah, I just got that.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


On television, they're running the same ad, over and over. Come see the Greatest Show on Earth! I haven't been to one in years but I still remember the feeling of panic and fear and excitement the circus used to bring.

When I was little, we used to go to a ragtag little show set up in the parking lot of a flea market. Three red and yellow tents, creased and faded, worn through in places. Paint-chipped wagons, the letters faded from too many shows, too many towns. It wasn't much but to us, to a bunch of poor kids who didn't know any better, the circus was a treat.

It was always the same, the ringleader in red coat and black top hat, mouthing words I don't remember at a crowd of indistinguishable faces. Bodies squeezed onto cheap wooden bleachers, the smell of slightly stale popcorn and the crunch of peanut shells under my feet. Hands and face sticky from too much cotton candy, waiting anxiously for the lights to drop.

The elephants were always first, a train of tails and trunks, skin like old newspapers, faded and mottled gray. They moved through their routine with a kind of dull grace, the same slow, lumbering steps over and over. Once, I rode on the back of one, terrified at the feel of muscle and bone shifting beneath me. I was afraid of them, afraid of their size, at what moved in their eyes. Now when I see the elephants I feel only sadness for them and I wonder if they remember, if they know, what it was to be wild.

The lions came next, roaring over the noise of the crowd, each waiting their turn to demonstrate their ferosity. The lion tamers followed behind, cracking their whips and shouting out commands. Inevitably, one of them was brave enough to place their head in the lion's mouth, sending oohs and aahs through the crowd. I never understood it, was never impressed by it. My idea of bravery, of courage, was and still is something different.

There were the fire-eaters and the sword swallowers, testing the limits of their bodies, choking on the taste of fire and ash and steel. The clowns, with their permanent smiles and plastic flowers pinned to their lapels. The tiny car which managed, impossibly, to hold them all. I have a friend my age who is still afraid of clowns. I used to think this was silly but maybe he's right not to trust something whose smile is always painted on.

My favorites were the trapeze artists, those beautiful girls with their glittering costumes and wide smiles. The ones who dazzled the crowd with their beauty and the way they flew through the air, weightless shadows. They were always the stars, the ones who received the longest and loudest applause. I wanted to be one of them, to know what it was to live in the spotlight, to be the most loved. They were always so much more glamorous than the tightrope walkers. The trapeze is about timing and reflexes and showy movements. The tightrope is different. It's about concentration, focus, balance. It's about learning to trust the person on the other end and knowing that there is still a chance you could fall. I was never impressed by the ones who worked without a net. It seemed foolish to me, to risk so much. Now I see that a net doesn't always guarantee safety and that there are risks worth taking.

And now I'm here, waiting on the platform, the crowd below a single moving blur. The choice is mine, the tightrope or the trapeze. I can fly into nothing and fall safely in the net or I can step out into open air with only my own faith to catch me. I choose the highwire. My trust is in the rope, this body, you. I'm still finding my balance, still choosing my steps. I can, will, make it to the other side. Cross your fingers, hold your breath, don't look down. Keep your eyes on me, I'm almost there.

Friday, December 15, 2006


From my journal, a week after I wrote this:

Sitting here, people-watching, wondering what their stories are. There are a lot of women here, some alone, some in twos and threes. Where are their boyfriends, husbands, lovers? Where is mine, for that matter? All of us people, all of us here, together in this place and yet we don't connect. There are glances exchanged, smiles, nods, but no words. We keep to ourselves, to what's familiar, not allowing ourselves the possibility of what if? What if destiny was at the next table only we missed it because we were too afraid to say hello? Maybe it's unreasonable to think so but maybe not. I have to hold out hope that there is someone out there for me, that there is someone I'm meant to love and be loved by. And more than love. I want more than just someone to pass the time with, more than just someone to fill up the empty space. I won't settle for that, I won't settle for an ordinary kind of love. I want the stars and the moon, the sky and the earth, and everything in between.

When I wrote this, I didn't know that an empty chair would change everything. I didn't know that I would find myself happier than I've ever been. I didn't know that I would begin to believe in soul mates. I didn't know what real passion was or what it felt like to laugh nonstop. I didn't know that it was possible to care about someone more than yourself. I didn't know what I was capable of. I didn't know there was you.
I believe in fate, in karma, in destiny. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe, now, in taking chances. I believe in possibility, and in finding what you want in the place you least expect it. And most of all I believe, again, in love.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I am two weeks into this new place, this new life. It was not as hard as I thought it'd be, to pick up and move, to go it alone. Every day, I make this space more and more mine, more and more a home. I am streamlining, simplifying, discarding those things that aren't important. I thought I would be lonely here but it hasn't been. I thought I was leaving love behind but it's followed me here; it's simply changed shape.

A few weeks ago, we began the task of dividing up our things. We started with the furniture, each of us saying what we wanted or didn't want. The only thing I really wanted were the books, hundreds of them crammed onto six different cases. These were, are, more important to me than the furniture, the pots and pans. We sat in the living room surrounded by movies and cds, holding each one up and saying what about this? The whole time I kept thinking, I can't believe we're doing this. After seven years together, seven years of collecting and building and merging, it took only a couple of hours to divide and become separate again.

And now I'm here, freedom and fear and loneliness and excitement all mixed into one. There are no rules here unless I decide to make them. I am alone but not lonely, living this life for one. Cooking for one, shopping for one, doing laundry for one. I was already used to sleeping alone but now I do it without the comfort of a familiar body in the next room. There is no one to depend on, no one to do the things that need to be done. There is only me but surprisingly, this is enough. For now, this one is enough.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Goodbye for now

I've been thinking about it for a while and I've decided that for right now, my head and my heart are just not into blogging, or writing for that matter. My life is changing, becoming something else, and I am happily caught up in it. This space has taken a backseat to the real world for once and I'm trying to enjoy every second of it. That being said, I won't be updating the blog for a while. Thanks to everyone who stopped by here from time and I've enjoyed reading your words as well. Hopefully I'll see you all again when things settle down a bit. But until then, and because I love you, I'll leave you with this.