September 20, 2009

New Things

I left Santa Cruz because of the people. They made me feel crazier than I could ever feel by myself. I am someone who likes to start clean, burn bridges, and never look back. My father is the same way, I think. I have friends I don't want to lose, and more still that I already have. I feel pressure from the people I am still in touch with to mend relationships that I have long considered over. Is it strange that I feel more stifled speaking to people than I do by myself? It isn't always that way. Around my family I feel free to inhabit my own skin. They ask me hard questions; they aren't afraid of the answers. They aren't afraid of screaming or crying or pain. They are victims of the loss, and living it with me.

The other evening I was sitting on the porch with Granddaddy, watching the water. He said, "Why do you think Laura did what she did?" It didn't frighten me, or make me angry, or make me cry. I felt like I could breathe. I said, "Because she didn't think she had anything to look forward to." He nodded and smoked his pipe and we sat in silence, watching the fish jump.

I am incredibly happy, and incredibly sad. The experience of emotion, real hard emotion, has eluded me constantly in the past year. I felt numb, and faded, and so unlike myself I could hardly stand it. Maybe it is what I had to do to live, to function, to go to work and talk to customers, to be around my friends. Suddenly, here, I feel like I'm waking up, dust falling from me in sheets. It isn't always pleasant. But it makes me remember who I was before this happened, the hopes I had, the drive. It reminds me that I am alive apart from Laura, even when I feel as if half my body has been removed.

I write and sit on the porch and listen to Blind Willie Johnson. I can read again. I want to live in the South for the rest of my life, be it on that green river in Arkansas or here. Last night I made stew for dinner and smoked too many cigarettes and fought with Colby, and this morning I awoke to a clear blue sky and smooth water and was unspeakably glad to be here. My head is splitting open and stories are spilling out, obvious and good.

No comments:

Post a Comment