A Letter To Myself In This Moment

A Letter to Myself In This Moment-

So you’re coming out on the other end of a quarter life crisis. How’s it going? How are you? Is it as bad as you thought it would be?

Let me take a moment to remind you, it’s all going to work out. Remember that time when you were fifteen and you were absolutely certain that you were going to die before you turned eighteen? And now look at you! You’ve made it to twenty three! You’re here! Take a moment and be thankful.

I’d like to also take a moment to congratulate you on becoming who you are today. You’re doing pretty good. You’ve realized some important boundaries. I know you struggle with thinking you can still fix things with your parents, but as much as your heart aches and you try to rationalize that you can fix it, you have to remember that 1. You’ve tried that for roughly twenty years and 2. It takes two to tango and they would have to be willing to have a conversation with you, hear your words, have some sense of self awareness and introspection, and then be willing to change or explain themselves in a mature way. You’re not at fault for ceasing to hold your breath. You can only do so much as one person.

Maybe start trying to wrap your head around the fact that you’ve found the love of your life. I know you’ve got a lot going on trying to figure out career stuff and money stuff, and living day to day, but you recently met the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Don’t let these other circumstances distract you from the joys you’ve found in the amazing woman you’re planning your future with. Also, can you believe how lucky you are?

How exciting is it that kids are finally on the horizon???!!! We’re talking three years?! That’s so soon! That’s literally been your only hope and dream for so long, and it’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel. You’re going to have babies SO SOON. You’re going to be a mom, SO SOON. I’m proud of you, and that’s really fucking exciting. You’re going to be an amazing mom. You’re going to finally feel the joy you’ve imagined in holding a little one in your own arms and never having to return them to their parents.

Keep going. Don’t stress too much. It’s all going to fall into place if you keep working hard, digging deep and giving it everything you’ve got. You will find your place in the world. Don’t get frustrated that it’s not all in place yet. It’s okay that you’re not Lena Dunham or even that kid from high school that went to UCLA and started his own business and now just travels for shits and giggles. You’re okay. You’re normal. Normal is not bad.

Take care of yourself. Remember how important you are and your place in the world is. Make a difference some way some how, be open and receptive to what the world places in front of you.

Be Well.

Advertisements

The Four AM Drop

Nighthawk This short story is in response to this daily prompt.

“I have five minutes. I told him I was going out for cigarettes.”

“I haven’t told her.”

“But- you said- I don’t understand.”

“There hasn’t been a good time. She’s wrapped up in the details of the funeral.”

“I can’t- you can’t- this is outrageous! We’re supposed to leave in the morning! You gave me your word.”

“Catherine, it’s her father for Chrissakes. The poor thing just lost her father. Can you have a little bit of empathy?

Empathy?! Empathy?! How about you have a little empathy for me for once?!”

The server looked up and made eye contact with her. She knew she was being louder than what was acceptable, especially at this time of night, and she wondered how this might look in his eyes. It was nearly dawn. Her husband almost hadn’t noticed she had left in the middle of the night. He was a large, dense man and had a brain to match- as if he was made of wood with skin stretched over him, feeling nothing and obtaining no sense of intuition.The moment between she and the server dissipated as she rearranged herself, consciously taking the tension out of her neck, placing her elbows on the counter, trying to remain as casual as possible.

She and Duke had been seeing each other over the past three years. Her husband stiffly going to work, making passionless love to her on a predictable schedule, eating dry toast and never looking her directly in they eye- disinterested in what might be beyond her surface, or maybe content with the facade presented. Duke’s wife was beautiful, especially for her age, but she’d become distant and Catherine often wondered if she would become more beautiful with time as Duke’s wife had.

She knew Duke might be trading in the first wife for an updated, younger version, and it might someday happen to her, but taking that chance was better than staying in this stagnant life. The truth was, she didn’t know who’s baby it might have been. She’d convinced herself it must belong to Duke. How could a human life be formed out of the dust of such a loveless bed? And when she told Duke, there had been a brief flicker of light in his eyes before it turned to dread. She thought through it- if only his wife wasn’t in the picture. If only the roles were reversed and she was the man who had impregnated her precious young and slender lover, she would take her mistress by the waist and take her to a new city, maybe Chicago, and they would start their lives together, no questions asked. But she had told him six weeks ago and he had remained frozen.

The lines in his sleepless face were not a good sign, she thought. Nothing good happens in the middle of the night. They should have waited until dawn to reunite, waited for the dark monsters of anxiety and self reflection to crawl back into their tiny closets, waiting for darkness to fall again. Maybe then he would be ready to get on the train, like they planned, and get out of the city that had condemned them. They would run to the vast and colorful northern suburbs, leaving New York behind like a stain on hotel sheets. They’d find a small home and once she was comfortable and settled and there wasn’t any backing out of the mess they had made, she would fake the miscarriage that happened two weeks ago and show her allegiance to him, and he to her, by staying.

He opened his mouth and she felt the world crumbling around her.

“I can’t go through with this. I thought I could leave her. I thought we could move forward. I was wrong. I’ll give you the money you’ll need to…”

This was the end. Her chance to leave and start anew was slipping away as quickly as it had slipped in. A montage of memories ran through her head. The gala where he pressed her against a locked bathroom door, instantly running his hand up to her backside, pulling down her garter. The weekend they had managed to get away from their dreadful spouses and flee to the Hamptons, talking about their future and their plans for children, a house outside this city flogged with memories of who they used to be. Maybe they could go to Paris for their honeymoon. Duke had been fortunate throughout this bought of extreme recession and his family’s inheritance remained protected. He would take her away from her mediocre life with her mediocre husband. She recalled the moment she realized she was pregnant, she knew she had hooked him and secured this life for herself. And the moment she lost the baby, fearing it would all unravel if he found out.

She felt herself accepting a check. She took the shakily written note from Duke, it read “Dr. Janson, 45 W Turner St. New Jersey” and heard something from his mouth about Dr. Janson being a trusted doctor who took care of these matters and had long been a family friend. He got up briskly, knowing that her stunned face, frozen in this casual pose, staring at her fingertips, was not going to emit any more sound. He walked away without a touch, without a kiss.

She held onto the check for a week, wrapped up and neatly tucked into her compact. She took it out once in the morning and once in the evening and held it to her nose, searching for any trace of lingering cologne. Finally, when the check only smelled like her powder, she cashed it. She went to Gimbel’s and bought Duke’s cologne. She wrapped it neatly in brown paper and tied it with twine. When she came home that evening, she made dinner for her completely ignorant husband and gave him the sweet, thoughtful gift.

Sunrise

I never knew love until I found myself telling someone “your eyes are like sunrises” and meant it with all of my heart. The way the underbelly of her eyes turn into half crescents with sparkling suns peaking over the top, are exactly like a sunrise I once saw while sitting on top of a mountain in Japan. It sounds like a lie, but it’s not, and that’s how you know it’s actually love. The moment when I saw that sunrise in Japan, I was sixteen and it was too beautiful to take a picture of. Even then I knew that some things were better left for only your memory to uncover each time you so choose.

Our bodies find each other and wrap themselves into the tightest knots- long strong legs intertwined, back to stomach, firmly pressed, one arm under the other’s head, one face in the other’s hair, fully breathing in their scent. It’s as if our minds have no say in the matter. Our bodies are present and biology kicks in. As soon as I smell her skin, I know I’m home. When I run my fingers through her hair, I feel the power and strength of a future yet to reveal itself. All of the rationale and the worry in my brain completely disintegrates when our eyes lock and my heart fills with the warm sunshine of contentment and peace.

It’s difficult being apart even for just one night. It’s like a vital organ is missing from your body, or like the world suddenly falls dark and sunless. But there is hope and there is promise for morning’s return. It’s a short moment in the span of our story together, the last moments of darkness before the dawn.