I was a winter’s child, born into cold in the deep bowels of February. It should come as no surprise that I’ve needed to be held from birth. Not only because that’s what you do with infants but I was probably also freezing balls. Even though everything is basically dead & the dryness of my skin could start a fire & I am required to carry an emergency kit in my car, I’ve always had a fondness of winter. I admire how quiet it is. How bright & soft & powerful. Want to go somewhere? That’s cool but a blizzard might fuck your shit up. The roads are not even bad today! Just kidding BLACK ICE, lol.
I do like Thanksgiving & Christmas but I think it was better when I was younger. I saw more of my family. Nobody was buried in the ground or in their phone. The solemn act of life was easier because the feelings & heartbreak I had were centered solely around how many peanut butter balls were left. Now, I quite honestly dread the void that I feel is attached to me at any gathering. Ghosts of boyfriend’s past hanging around the deviled eggs. With that, I cultivated an affection towards New Years. However, it has a likeness to Valentine’s Day for me; my expectations have always been way too goddamn high. Just like how I used to excessively decorate my secret admirer mailbox in the classroom, now I excessively decorate my eyelids/lashes/brows. I would appreciate a party with sequins & shrimp cocktail & 11 too many martinis but alas, 2017 transitioning to 2018 was no such year. I was in bed before the ball dropped in my time zone, my face 3 inches away from the projection of a TV show on my phone in harrowing attempts to make me forget that there was a holiday happening. But now, when frigidity really negotiates its way into my bones, this hibernation is what I really look forward to most.
It’s when winter decisively begins. It’s a settling in. A season of reticence. A newer, quieter year. The first few months at least because you know you won’t be doing any changing in July, (too hot). Or maybe it’s just because I’m a lazy asshole & I appreciate the justification of laying so long in my bed (too cold) that I need to flip to avoid sores. It’s up in the air, really.
I’ve never been a person to commit to a resolution but I do love the concept of starting over, especially when everything hurts. I have an instinct to run. To sell my things. To find a new job. To give myself a fake name just for a few hours. ‘My name is Margaret & I invented pudding,’ or something.
I did it only once. Back before I acquired a house full of shit & my responsibilities were basically just car payments & that one credit card. ONE credit card I said. A boy left me so I moved. It was easy then because I was still living with the ‘rents & making only nine dollars an hour. My belongings went to a storage shed & I went to a plane. I want to do that now but I have so many
excuses attachments. I’m an annoying octopus with tentacles gripping jobs & belongings & people while the rest of my limbs are stuffed in a bag of Bugles.
Without the moving part, I still wanted to start the new year off poetically. I deactivated my Facebook again. I know, it’s hard not to be blown away by my bravery & insightful declarations. But I’m telling you, it’s like a deeply cleansing pro-biotic without the questionable bm’s & I recommend you do it at least every 6 months. You don’t even have to drink water! However, it is also my only communication with some people & I am adhered to several business pages. I had to sign in a few nights ago & saw precisely what I had anticipated: a new year tag of my recent lover. What did we say in the 90’s, ‘Gag me with a spoon?’
I had just spent a few hours, after all, committed to living some positive energy, zen-filled, non-distracted life & I had to witness emojis (at least 5) & talk of kissing him & of course it was perfect. I cried. I yelled. I wrote a small made-for-tv mini drama based on the events. I finished my messaging, frantically downed wine & a shooter of Nyquil & re-deactivated that shit faster than my legs close at the vag doctor.
The desire to flee is strange because I am more a creature of comfort than anything & I know that sadness follows, even if you go. Some days the biggest risk I take is going through a roundabout when it’s snowing or walking through the breakables part of Hobby Lobby with my 43 pound purse swinging by my side. You know the saying, ‘Home is where the heart is?’ I’m sure it’s embroidered on a pillow in a house of someone you love.
Well what if your heart resides in several places? I have left mine in all my cherished latitudes. I drop bits of it like I’m leaving a trail of crumbs in the forest. In case I’m lost or wandering or need a reminder that not all of my love is limited to one zip code. It’s my way back. The unfortunate side effect of this, though, is the repetitive undoing of my own heart. It’s akin to knitting. Realizing you effed up a stitch so you have to pull out the work you just did, only to re-do it again but it’s still crooked because you forgot to count. That’s why I also quit knitting after making 3/4 of a scarf. Seriously, who has got the time.
(Side effects may also include: sleeplessness, depression, uncontrollable anxiety at inopportune times, weight loss/gain, nervousness, vomiting, dizziness, headache & skin rashes.)
I think of this boy when I try to balance the cans on the recycling because we made a game of that once. Or that one because I found his business card from days of yore in an old wallet. Him when all those songs play, soundtracks to when I loved him. When he loved me, maybe. When we laughed. His beer in my fridge. That shirt in my closet. It reminds me it reminds me it reminds me. How does it all change but it all stays the same? All these landmarks I used to use to find you, now they just emphasize the place you used to be. Hither & yon.
While I did move once, I came back. To the same house where I used to have an upstairs bedroom with rusty brown carpet & paneling. The wax I spilled while playing with candles is still stuck in the floor. I would play guitar & write songs in there in the hopes of skirmishing through the mourning process while I also discovered that Arbor Mist would not suffice as a means to forget. I didn’t know then that I would live back where I suffered my first major heartbreak. Where I underwent each & every one after that over the course of almost 20 years. The spirits of my relationships resting with the dead mouse souls. RIP.
So here we are, a little over a week into 2018 & frankly I’m disappointed that we don’t have hover cars yet. But on the upside, on half price night at the thrift store, I re-bought a book that changed me in my early 20’s titled, ‘He’s Just Not That Into You.’ I’m going to read it again (& again & again) in a vain attempt to tell myself that I’ll Gloria Gaynor this shit & survive. And today, while my dad told me over the phone to go buy some pet safe
de-icer for the deck, he said, ‘Make sure you hang on.’ I know he was referring to the railing so that I won’t break a femur, but I’m attributing it to the breaking of other things. I’ll hang on, dad – promise.
-a damsel & her dog-
Also found at the thrift store: depressed cat wall hanging, $3.50.