Beth wove my hair into french braids last night, two of them culminating on either side of the nape of my neck. I left them in overnight, the feeling of no hair around my head a novel one, and I wore them in the shower. I’m at work now and trying to imagine how one takes these things out. I imagine being kissed might do it. As if tipping my head forward into a warm chest would let the touch of lips on the crown of my head unravel every twist into tiny curls.
Please give me resolution, bring me a damned child who knows what’s right and a blind man who can see through time. Bring me these things and other things and let me make a court of law where love herself may be judged. It is time to right these wrongs, bless the heathens free. Her face, we know, is red with need, but it can be signed on the warrant just the same. Bring me the blood of a marigold, a pansy, and a rose. Bring me a song that the first person sang when they invented loneliness as a minor chord. We’ll beat drums like hearts, like daffodil candy, like the gun shot that brought down the first born daughter who wasn’t wanted, and she’ll come to us, she’ll dream for us, and then we can take down her name.
Tuesday again, a count-down day, one of many, one of few. No word yet from far away, and I wonder how long it will take. There wasn’t even a “I have arrived” or an “I am alive” let alone an “I miss you.” This is the way such things go, I presume, when things are dying. It begins with less and ends with nothing. Too much sublimation of self to pay for another’s way again and the debt isn’t being paid back. Part of me knew this would happen, just as part of me doesn’t know what will happen next.
Work today is counting minutes, watching the digital white letters in the right hand corner of the screen and wondering to myself, “When do I get to leave?” whenever a plane goes by or a train. We’re close to tracks and the trains here are frequent, loud thunderous things with bells and hard whistles, every metal car grumbling about it’s own particular rain weather clickity clack. It’s on the edge of chilly here, like the temperature is a lake the city is walking beside at night. The calendar claims it’s summer, but it’s a man made construct and too rigid to contain reality this year. Each day has been something new, another volatile shade of unlikely weather.
I was waiting for a grand proclamation, a visitation of word to download some meaning into the withering hardware. I was waiting to want you, to let the barrier blocks fall so that I might stand free of them and that other person. I was waiting to understand the fundamental attachments that I formed in my absence.
I’m beginning to.
Under the main process, there’s wheels spinning, creating thread out of the morass of fluff that passes for thought in my brain. You helped me by being angry at me, upset that my twists have always ended positive, that every fairy tale disaster has been paid off with joy. You echoed years in that voice, a handful of fingers all pointing accusatory. I remembered being younger, shorter, less prone to speech yet talking in a rare moment of surety with someone who used to be my friend. “You just have to wait the right away, there’s a presence of mind and a shut-down. You can’t help me, like I can’t help you right now, but we’ll get there. We’ll find it by walking into it, like we need our eyes closed to walk into a wall.”
You don’t remind me of him, he hurt me later, crossed lines that grown men should not with little girls, but rather of what I said. What I began to try to say again, with as little eloquence as years ago, I’m sure, to you in the kitchen. That there’s ways and then there’s ways. There’s action in inaction and misery as debt. I don’t know how to convey how I know things, and I’m sorry. I want you to know how to survive in joy, but I don’t carry the work with me as you do.