when i told her that he was gone, how she collapsed into herself. how she crumpled like papers that he used to toss so carelessly after writing another passage that didn’t satisfy him. it would have broken you too to watch a woman so frail break with the whisper of two syllables.

how her hands had trembled and she wouldn’t look at me. but how i wish she had.  how i wanted to tell her how much i had loved him too in my own way, hilariously grudgingly at first but eventually so fiercely that our friendship could only be deemed unbreakable. how i had been so young, how i had been so naive that day i first knocked on the large, polished oak door at the end of the elm tree trail, asking for that painting. who would have thought that such a chance encounter would have sprung such a strong yet elusive connection?

the memory that jumps out at me is the one where i’m standing with him ensconced in the graying concrete facade of the abandoned clinic, dangerously overdressed for such a dirty empty place. my mother’s pearls were strapped securely around my neck, hair coiffed so perfectly; how my mother would have finally approved if she had seen me. him in his three-piece suit, not a scuff mark to be found on his leather loafers, tie undone.  there were nothing but grey walls to appreciate our black-clad elegance, which almost felt like a waste of effort save for the illicit purpose of this adventure. i had felt so alive at that moment, like i was useful, i was smart, i was in on a sinister secret. i was a partner in crime.  perhaps it was the stark briskness of the cold surfaces and air that piqued my senses, but i had never so ready to live in the moment.  i remember vividly the way we stood apart, the way we acknowledged that we were associates, not friends.  oh how far we had come: i had grown since he had met me.  i had grown taller, i was older, i looked so much like my mother whom he had never met.  i had felt so in-control, so invincible in the moments when he looked at me to acknowledge my presence. how… in that moment i knew that i could not turn back and i was okay with that. i was okay with saying goodbye to the normal, to the mundane, to the over-romanticized. i was willing to trade everything for a life of hard, frightening danger.

i’ll never forget the funeral in his backyard in the backdrop of his sprawling veranda, surrounded by all his friends in white wicker chairs, the green so bright and pervasive it just felt too fertile a setting for such a drab ceremony.  and everything was white. everyone was white tinged with a kentucky glow. the air was so warm and so moist that i swore that if i licked the air, i would catch dew on my tongue. and i wore white. i wore that white dress i swore i would never wear again. i wore it defiantly. i stood.

i was strong when she collapsed. i trembled, ready to burst at any moment, as chests shook. i was going to continue his legacy.


a twenty minute thought

mama said that time would make it hurt less
yet here i am, still grieving.

i don’t get it… i don’t get why it still stings. I don’t know why I dread the day that I run into you, the day some picture pops up online with you and some girl, and it all becomes real.

like i wasn’t good enough. like… i should have given up a long time ago.

i am thinking about going to a life drawing class… so many things have been reminding me of europe lately and drawing was one of the things that I wanted to resume. I really wanted a balance in my life after I came back from Europe… like I wanted to focus on myself outside of work, reignite my passions, start taking classes again, start becoming the person I wanted and needed to be.  I needed a break from the exhaustion of school. and at the time, i was trying to move on from some weird arrangement/acquaintance that had gone awry. It’s funny because at the time, I kept thinking that this guy would preoccupy my mind in Europe and it kind of did, but I needed Europe to move on, to move forward.

And then you came along into my life. I still remember the first time I met you and I didn’t really like you.  I wanted to roll my eyes.  And fast forward to almost a year and I wish you had stayed. I wished I had the time or the opportunity to tell you everything I never told you. I wished I had more time to make you laugh, to tell you my stories, and there are so many stories that I have never told anyone, but I felt comfortable enough to tell them to you.

I started reading this book about personal success and happiness from a very successful and spunky woman named Miki, and she is everything I want to be and also everything I am not.  She’s brave, she’s extroverted, she’s extremely pretty, athletic, talented, charismatic.  I am introverted, no one’s ever called me pretty, I don’t have the confidence she has, I can play sports but not at her calibre, I don’t have a lot of guy friends.  It’s like all these things I aspire to do or be are kind of out of reach despite her attempt to break down exactly what she did to get where she is now.  And I love that about her book: that I can see extremely clearly what she did so that I can emulate in my own way.  But… we’re so different that I find it almost impossible to apply her approach to my demeanour and personality.  And this has been challenging… this is like the book Spinster in the fashion that it has made me reflect on my personality, my values, my behaviour, who I am.  And it’s so tough to ask yourself those questions, to admit that “hey, I’m not as friendly as I should be.” or “I don’t take the risks that I tell everyone else to take. Huh.”

There are so many things that I want to do, that I want to have… but I’m constrained by time and money.  And that has been another big lesson: to be patient, to plan, to budget, to figure out what I want to do… truly.  That I can’t have it all.  And it’s funny because I tell people that piece of advice all the time, but here I am in my head, trying to have it all and getting overwhelmed that I can’t have it all.

I bought this beautiful agenda.  Maybe it’s time I put it to good use.

I need some time to reflect on myself, not the men who have left my life. I need to think about my 24-month strategy, because things are about to get very interesting…