25 October 2012

“There is only one heart in my body, have mercy on me.”
— Franz Wright, One Heart

I thought I saw you at the grocery store today.  I am used to seeing you with your boyfriend every few months, and being fine but when I realized it wasn't you, I ached in a way that surprised me.  It was physical (like i had been flexing my chest for an hour and finally released) and I wished we could be in the same space and have it all be back as it was, regardless of how stupid and unrealistic that wish is.  I'm tired of living with this feeling and the patience it requires.  If it wasn't so soft and sweet and giant, I would feel pathetic.

I was in Chicago last weekend and an older man on the same floor of the hotel as me slipped a note under my door asking if I would like to go shopping with him.  After an awkward interaction on the elevator earlier, I suspected it was a proposition for more than just an afternoon on Michigan avenue.  I wished I could tell him how sad the note made me.  I wished I could have told him that he didn't have to buy love or that I wasn't interested in material things or that I would be happy to go out to dinner with him, but that wasn't true.  He made my skin crawl in our tight shared space and I was counting the seconds until the elevator would open.  A nice suit could not hide the animal underneath, wild and searching for a sign to pounce.

Back in my room on the 24th floor, I ripped up the note while looking at the life all around me, imagining the stories playing out in front of me in the lit up windows across the sky and on the sidewalk below.  Nobody who saw me minutes earlier would ever imagine me reading this note or what it would do to me, but that's what's so perfect. None of us know , at any minute, what will happen or who will come around the corner or what they would write to you if they only had the balls to slip you a note. Who would we be if we understood the consequence of every small action? My eyes swell with water at the thought. The tenderness of life can be overwhelming but wonder turns pain and heartache into something bearable, even beautiful and for that I am grateful.

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