Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Under Pressure

As I always say, you wake up one day (or one evening) in New Orleans and find that the cold has arrived, blowing through your cotton layers and straight into your bones. The heat arrives much the same way; there is no subtlety, no precursor.

Standing in the kitchen, I can feel the wind blowing through the cracks in the kitchen door, from under the cabinets, beating the leaves against the windows. A siren echos nearby, a reminder that we live only blocks from the hospital and even as my life slows down, someone, somewhere, is trying their best to survive a crisis. The kitchen smells like hot pie, Bourbon and apples, and I feel grateful. For a moment today, I wondered if life was returning to normal. And then I remembered... there is no normal. There's today. There is more stability, yes, but my normal now bears little resemblance to my normal of six months ago, a year ago, six years ago. There is no constant except change. Someday my silly heart will stop thinking otherwise and begin to embrace this.


How do you tell someone you know that you can't love them? What a bizarre statement. I don't claim to know what I'll think, what I'll feel, months from now. And yet. I know this. 

I know that for all your sweetness, for all the ways my arms long to wrap around yours, that my heart isn't in this. I know by the way you slip from my mind. I know by the way I become short-tempered, even frustrated, when we talk. I know by the way you shut me down in conversation, by the way you can't stop for a minute and consider my view as possible. Not right. Just possible. 

I know by the way you touch me, by the way I touch you. I know by the way we miss each other coming and going, like freight trains in the night. I know by the look I give you before I walk into the next room.

How to say all these things without crushing you? I find it cruel, almost, how beginnings are graceful and endings are always akin to a car crash. 

I've got to stop putting this off. 

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