This is a rant on memories and pain.
[I should note, in passing, and this is actually a postscript, that this is written like a letter, to the mythic You, to the one who animates and inspires my writing. I may not speak to you, specifically, or you as a group, or you as a blogger or my reader, or my friend. I only write to You, the anonymous confessor of my evening. I should name my computer You, for the sake of it, I might be writing to it for all I know. So I write. To You. ]
I’m lost in the space between my stars.
I’ve got that feeling again. That low, sinking feeling in between my heart and my stomach. Like the setting sun it burns. It sinks, and as it goes lower and lower, as I fall, I shimmer, I tremble, and somewhere inside the lights go out. Instead of that light, inside me, there are a million shimmering stars. Thousands upon thousands of pinpricks,, each shimmering stars. Thousands upon thousands of pinpricks, each bleeding and shining minutely. Each one painful. Each one very real. But the spaces between them, like the stars- those are the places where despair, hope and longing wait for me. Each moment connected by the infinite wait for the next.
Each memory, each ghost of moments lost - they pull at me behind my eyes. And I think to myself, how much longer? How much time, how much space is there between your mouth and mine? Between words? Between a kiss? A confession of love? An utterance of disgust and despise? Have you ever thought about it? The eternity between the interaction of you and I?
Imagine for a moment - close your eyes and think of it - think of something you want to say to me. Think hard, of something you might never voice. Think if you love me. If you secretly loathe me but find me inescapable, if you think I am utterly crazy. Think of telling me you want to have sex with me, or that I’ve hurt you in a terrible inexpressible way. Whisper it aloud. Just now. Away from my ears. I’ll never hear you. Now think of the time between those words, and were I there, my reaction. A word, a kiss, a sigh, a tear.
Now you’ve seen my response, my imagined response. Take the time in between. Each moment between "I love you" or "I can’t think of you without thinking of despair" - whatever you’ve said - and my response. Each of those moments stretch for the eternity that now lasts between what you’ve said and my real response [which of course will never come, because I haven’t heard you] That is like the starry spaces. Each of our moments connected by an eternity that will never be broached. And between them, think if you can, how you would feel, waiting for my response. Would you be fearful? Would you worry? Would you think of the last person you loved? A woman who had inspired in you a similar rage or passion? Would you think of the look on my face, my reaction? Would you imagine tears or passion and then live in that moment or idea for a time, however brief?
To me, that is the sinking feeling, the waiting of the setting sun. Between each experience, between each time I write, between each time I talk to you or write for you or tell you how I feel, that is what it is like for me. And the sinking, the lowering, is almost too much to bear sometimes.
Sometimes I think of you, of something you have said, and in a moment, in a glance, it reminds me of a thousand other things. Do you feel that too, my love? Do you feel it? When you hear a word what is the image that comes to mind. Are there several? Can you keep up with them all? How do you sort which one you think of and which one you ignore. For me, sometimes, it is the terrible, the horrors that come to mind. Simple things - innocuous little things - become grotesque and frightening in the kaleidoscope of my life experience. And it not that life is always frightening or terrible. Not at all. Its that the frightening and terrible make their way to the forefront more easily.
Shall I give you examples? Of course I shall. You’re reading, not writing, and if you’re still here - if my ramblings have not run you off by now - you are likely here for one of two reasons, the train wreck of my existence is too much to look away from, or I make so much sense that you must know something of what I am talking about. That or you love me, but I shan’t ask for that - affection comes at a high price too often doesn’t it?
I could talk about my favorite subject - sex - but that’s something you are all too familiar with when it comes to me. You know horrors, you know pain, you know pleasure at my hands when it comes to that subject. And I confess, I know horror, I know pain and I know infinite pleasure on that subject as well. When I think of it, do I think of bondage and how much I enjoy it? Do I think of the times I was bound against my will, held tight? Still, when it comes to that subject in particular, you know as well as I that I can dwell extensively on the pleasurable aspects of it. Have I had lovers who have written me letters to make me tremble? Certainly. Have I been moved by love, by something as simple as sex, to the point it brought me to tears? Those moments are countless. There are caresses I relive in my dreams. There are words I cannot forget and refuse to let go. Still, even then, when I am alone, staring at a blank screen getting ready to write or holding my pillow as I go to sleep - staring into the dark - there are moments that tear through me unbidden. There are memories I would scour from my brain if I had sense at all, and they replay themselves over, and over, and over.
Something more simple, maybe?
Ice Cream. Easy enough isn’t it? My grandmother used to make ice cream floats from sodas and
chocolate ice cream when I was a little girl. I liked the foam. A simple, happy thought. But then you think grandmother, and I progress to grandfather, who drove me and my brother to a dairy queen once and when we were leaving we were in a car accident. I remember the look of my cone in the floor of the car, melting on the rubber floor mats, the sounds of my brother crying, the cracked windshield, the blood, my grandfather cursing, being lifted up by hands of someone I didn’t know....and I get lost in the thoughts of car accidents I have been in. But then I shake myself, I say no - ice cream, ice cream can be happy. I think of ice cream sundaes and of summertime and church camp. I think of driving to the local ice cream parlor and meeting my classmate R when I was a little girl for her birthday. I remember having ice cream and sandwiches and giving her a gift. But I remember then that her friends laughed because I didn’t have much money. They didn’t want me there because I wasn’t wearing the right clothes. She told her mom to take me home after she and her friends checked the label in my shirt and didn’t like the brand. I shake my head again and remember that after I lost my virginity my boyfriend took me out for ice cream. He laughed, asked for extra cherries on my sundae.
And it seems it is like this on any subject. You could send me a word, a feeling, and were I to sit, and think, to let my mind wander from thought to thought, from experience to experience, I would have moments like this.
This is what life is, isnt it? When I say to you ‘love’ or ‘pain’ or ‘fear’ there is a word or a thought or feeling that goes through you and it is the sum of your life experiences manifesting themselves in a single action. But if I let you go, I wonder, would you do the same as I do? Would you feel that inexplicable pull down, as your memories stretched infinitely? Would you take time to wonder, to rearrange those moments into realities that will never happen because you spoke, thought or moved wrong at a particular time or place? I think you would. I hope you do. I’d like to think I am not alone in those feelings.
I wonder how much of my experience, of my life and my decisions are shaped by these thoughts. I wonder, now that I think of it, how often it happens, that I let my day, my mood, my time go because I get lost in the eternity of memory and lost chances. Of maybes and should haves.
Ka asked me a question, in the meme, and it was along the lines of would I trade my sorrows for calm, if it meant giving up all my joys. I knew my answer immediately. That was the strange thing. Even without the thought of giving up all my joy. I would not trade my sorrows, even were it just for calm, and I was still able to experience joy. I couldn’t. This is the thing that frightens me just a little about myself. I chalk it up to the artist in me. The sensualist in me. You [or any normal person] might chalk it up to neurosis, to psychological damage, to vanity or something equally more likely.
When I feel these moments, the moments that pull me down, or that overwhelm, or frighten, those are moments that I feel very much alive. That is not to say that I do not love my moments of ecstasy. That isn’t to say there aren’t moments that I want nothing more than to linger in the gaze or words of a friend or love. I do, I love those moments, with every bit of me. Still, tell me those moments are surreal. If you do care for me, even a little, if you have ever entertained meeting me, [or, if this is difficult for you, think of someone you do know or have met from our little world] think for a second of what it would be like tp meet me at last. To spend a day lingering in our friendship, in our affection for each other, talking as if we were going to go on seeing each other each day, or loving each other or be friends forever. Think of how the sunlight would feel, the coffee would taste, the air would smell. It would be surreal, wouldn’t it? It wouldn’t seem like it was actually happening. And recalling that moment, from the time ever after that, wouldn’t the memory soften around the edges, become something of a dream itself?
But when I think of that pain, when I relive it- When I blink away the tears, when I feel the searing in my chest, the anger that inevitably comes or fades with time, those are the moments I treasure. Here’s why - I am alive. I know I am. I know that I have been through it, I have gone on. And I am here living, reliving that terrible pain or heartbreak. It was real then, and the fact that I still feel it, the fact that I know pain at its recollection - those reassure me I am real and I am still what I ought to be. Because I am still warm enough to suffer. I am still hard enough to be angry and want to fight those memories away. I am still frightened by the thought of it happening again. And I am more certain with each thought, with each memory, of the things and people I love now. I am certain of what I would fight for. I am convinced of my love more soundly. I am more protective.
That feeling, that moment, that remembering...it passes through me like a song I’ve heard that moves me. It gets in my skin, it circles my heart, it passes through me and I am still there when its over. I would not trade my love, my life, anything....to get rid of them. I hate those memories, don’t get me wrong. I don’t like to relive them. I don’t. But when they do, when they fight their way unbidden to my mind I am saddened, yes, but after I have cried, when I have dried my eyes and lifted my head, I am emboldened for a moment - and proud of myself for being more than that moment for the rest of my own eternity.
Does that make sense? I’ve rambled into oblivion tonight. Forgive me. As for you - I will not leave my feelings unsaid. I cannot go without it tonight - I do not want the moment to fade before I’ve said how I honestly feel right now....
I love you. I hate you. There are moments I cannot stand to be near you and then moments when I feel like all I can do is cling to the comfort you give me. I am frightened of you. I am unsure when I am with you. I am unsure of myself. I am unsure of you. I am unsure of everything. I never know exactly what to say. I never know if I am doing the right thing when I am with you. Sometimes I want to sleep with you, I want to see what you look like when you are feeling passionate. There are moments that you repulse me and I cannot believe I have any affection for you at all. You always know more than I do. You always make me wonder. You always inspire me. I will say this, I am grateful for you. For each moment you give me. You make me think. You make me wish. You make me long. You make me feel. It is you that rouses me from my lethargy. And you are the one who drives me to share with you, even when I am afraid of the reaction you will give. Even when I know you may not love me the way you once did. But I love you, and I appreciate you, and I forgive you.
As you forgive me.
Goodnight, loves, I am worn out. Confession is done. Amen.
[As a second post script - wow. Three posts, one day...sex, misery, angst....you’d almost think things were back to normal....]