Thursday, December 29, 2005

Life Testing

Man, it just doesn't get easier. I'm struggling to stay visible, but the sheer audacity of life has me fading to grey.

Here in NYC on vacation -- supposedly vacation. From my life, from my thesis, from my self, maybe.

And it's all here waiting for me. Now, I admit, I may have helped this a bit by arranging to stay with my high school boyfriend for the duration of the trip. So it's been all about -- how was I then and how am I now and what more do I know? He's exactly the same and says I'm exactly the same, and like that -- poof -- any work either of us has done in the past 10 years is reduced to rubble. To so much talk. Am I really who I was at 15? And if so, and I like who I am for the most part, isn't that a good thing that I've been a person I vaguely like for my whole life? Doesn't it mean I've been working pretty fucking hard for an illusion of progress? Doesn't that mean it's time to let go and accept more than I fight to change?

And the other mess was waiting for me, here, too. A certain someone who fits old pattern who's here to test my resolve to live fully and refuse to be treated less than I demand. Deserve. One playing into the other...

And he shows up. Ex-girlfriend in tow. In the town of 7 million where I just happen to be. The nightclub I just happened to have made plans to visit. The precise entertainment I went to enjoy.

And this is subtle? This is life's gentle lesson?

And part of me cares. Part of me wants to care more. Part less. A whole lot of me is just watching.

And it's being in the city of nameless souls. It's being a tourist not a person. Writing other people's words and lists of artists I like instead of the words that come from me.

It's reacting to others instead of knowing myself. As usual.

Watching myself try to relate to others. See their needs. Manipulate to meet my own. Not speak them out loud.

Gabe says he feels/felt there was so much of me I just never shared. That made him sad. Made him feel inadequate a lot of the time. Something he struggles with anyway. What a pair.

And I wonder how much that is true of me. My own fear that asking for anything will make him leave because I'm not worth giving anything to. Better not to be a burden. Do it myself or let go of the need. Or resent. Hmmm.... who does that sound like? What pattern did I learn?

I'm wondering whether to send my father the Daddy's Dealing poem for fathers' day. Jayson called on Christmas morning from the airport. I talked to all three of them in a record 2:21. Anne says she has my birthday present. Dad says he wants to see me. Jayson just says, I love you. The rest is a conversation a foreign country away.

Strange to feel so grounded and so out-of-body all at once. Maybe this is grace? Paralysis? Transition? Hard to say, but I hear the echoes of words to come barreling down the mind shaft. Soon, my hands will be black with coal dust. Me, the miner's daughter.

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