Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Letters to no one: 2017, a descrption in future tense


Dear Self,

Sum up the past year in two words?


Free fall...Disco lights. 
Billiard ball...Kite string. 
Tempering heat...Temptress nights. 
Fitful sleep...Doves sing.

Clever. Alright, a few more, perhaps, in future tense.

You will stop caring for your husband in order to care about yourself, but drop by weekly, or often enough so that at the end of the year he will count you his most regular visitor still—his "Buddy." These conversations will be both pained and delightful. And though, unanticipated, you will not care about yourself and depression will fill those remaining holes too. 

Your glittering miracle of a girlfriend will appear when you least expect it, and offer dopamine in the darkness. This will not be an easy first year, but you will fall madly in love with her. You will go through the motions, attempting to establish a new routine. You will want to both live and die, and when the true death-scare comes you will have no regrets, only the desire to write your own obituary. Your children will worry; your girlfriend too. And you'll eventually care enough about them to seek medication help for yourself. It won't come until early next year, but you'll continue to stroke toward that shore in hope of remembering how it felt to be yourself. 

You won't climb a single peak, but you will peddle just behind your lover until your lungs ache. The two of you will explore nakedness hiking in the forest, and when she isn't with you, you'll try it on for yourself. You will spend less time restricted by fabric, more time strung up in smoke. You'll pick flowers and paint, write a handful of poems, take road trips, practice the art of confronting your fears in rational terms.

Your children will grow more deeply entwined in the veins of your heart and you'll continue the practice of parenting like you've never seen it done. You'll look at your own childhood problems in new ways, listen to the demon tales your girlfriend has told no one else, and you'll hold each other in the stillness once the secrets are uttered. 

You will revel in her friendship, philosophical discussion over sushi, defining thrifting fashion, hopping art galleries and museums, and listening to metal and jazz, all the while tugging her along toward folk. You will visit the North Country together and return to the Snake's frigid waters; then venture as far east as you have ever been to walk the streets of Boston and cross the bridge over the dark Mystic gripping each other's hands. You will hold her hand, cup the small of her back, stroke her delicate cheek, and kiss the soft line of her perfect lips whenever and wherever she will allow. You will march with her at SLC Pride. You will visit LDS Temple Square to see the Christmas lights and kiss her amidst throngs of Mormons. You will find yourself holding her body the way the ground holds your feet. Step by step, and the path will seem more sure.

That is how the year will unfold.

Undeniably yours,
Your worst critic

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