lot's wife

on our first date i wore a navy scalloped skirt. i wore makeup. eye-makeup. concealer, even, which would have been a great comfort to my mother.

and i thought, what am i doing? i was so nervous. but so damn excited.

i entered the restaurant and asked the girl at the front desk if there was a man waiting for anyone. she pointed to the other side of the u-shaped counter in the bar.

i exhaled. audibly.

i had met him only two nights before and while i knew i thought him attractive then, i couldn't remember what he looked like. i feared i wouldn't recognize him. wouldn't be able to pick him out of a crowd.

but there he was. sitting at the bar. and yup, he was cute.

and god i loved how i felt as i walked toward him.

i always loved how i felt walking toward him.

it was the walking away that was hard.

when i called to tell him that i couldn't do it anymore i tried to make it very clear that it was not that i didn't want to. i just couldn't continue in this fashion. and oh how i listened for the moment of hesitation on his side, for the moment that he would fight me. fight for me.

it did not come.

but i had his book. and he had my earring. and such things needed to find their way home.

i offered that he leave it on his stoop and i would carry out the trade. he said such a thing was ridiculous. we could get a drink. be adults about this.

but somehow the drink didn't happen. and because technically it was i who chose to end things, i swallowed this and accepted the short window he provided in which to do essentially what i had suggested in the first place.

i found myself swallowing a lot over the course of our brief courtship. and never failed to be surprised (even in how it ended) by the extent to which he could disappoint me.

my mother told me to let the earring go. to just let it go. ask him to put it in the mail, realize he probably wouldn't and make peace with that.

but the thing was, he had all my secrets. i'd be dammed if he got the earring too.

and so i went. and bumbled there at the bottom of his doorstep for about two minutes.

and then i walked away. and never have i understood the story of lot's wife so well. we look back because we want to know that we're not alone. and oh how i didn't want to be alone. but i didn't. look back, that is. i gathered every remaining shred of self-worth and dignity and walked away without turning around.

(and cried as i did so).

i know i did the best possible thing. the relationship was unequal and unhealthy. he was selfish and i was overzealous. he was not the right guy, and i was not the right girl. and so i walked away. and i didn't look back.

and yet i wished all the while that he'd come up from behind, take my hand, and say let's try just a little bit harder for just a little bit longer.

because for each of his flaws i have my own. i know this.

but he did not.

i lack imagination. in life, i mean. i can't ever imagine things changing. or meeting someone else. and yet i know these things to be certain--more certain than anything else. but my horse-blinders are big, dark and all-encompassing.

perhaps the thing to remember here is that in walking away from him, i am walking toward someone else.

studying strangers.

she was in love with the skin around his eyes.

does that sound strange? it wasn't. it was the most natural thing in the world.

in love with its perfect fragility. its paper-thin translucence.

evidence of something deeply felt and known. evidence of an entire life.

but lying side by side on the floor of the dimly lit living room she looked at that area just around his eyes and wondered if there was not too much life before her--too much life before this moment. a life so full there was just no room.

in the days and weeks and months and years following his disappearance, following the slow withdrawl of his presence, she studied the eyes of many a man she passed. on the street. in a movie theatre. sitting in restaurants. she would get herself into trouble by looking for too long at strangers on the train.

she was fine.

really okay.

but every once in a while she would look up and catch a glimpse of him in a stranger. see those same careless lines leaning in. leading up and around. providing some kind of indiscernible road map.

and it was that that she missed.

that which would undo her.

point to the blog.

i was a little bit in love with him that very first night. standing at the end of the bar, scruffy beard, glasses, leaning in to be heard over the din of the restaurant.

it felt so easy. as if we'd been sitting next to each other at dinner parties for years.
but we hadn't. it was new--and the juxtaposition of the new and old--easy and not--set my stomach aflutter.

i can't remember the details of that first night, only how i felt.
certain things, yes. but for i who remember almost everything, the loss of memory held its own power, it seemed important.

and so i held on to my idea of it--to his deep set eyes, and the gentle brush of his fingers.

i've been trying hard to remember of late. or perhaps, to imagine. just how i felt the first time i saw him. what he thought when i sat down atop the barstool.

because i'm quite sure that whatever he felt that night has long since passed. but the thing is, i'm just ever so slightly--just a little bit--in love with him.

and so i clung to what i thought could have been.

he was busy. this much i know. and i attempted patience. but before long i discovered the line between patience and the pursuit of a man not interested to be small, thin, and unforgiving. and there i was on the unenviable side where pride came into play.

and i am too proud. this much i know. and not patient, but we've covered that.

and yet i'm a little bit in love with him. and how to say that?

and because i couldn't--because i can't, i do silly things like fall apart on the subway.

or in church this morning. or in the cab ride home while my mother listens and my father inquires as to how i can afford said cab. (i can't).

my brother once told me the blog is more interesting when i'm unhappy. i'm the girl who doesn't get the guy and for the sake of the blog i can't be.

well, blog, today you win.

(for the sake of kindness,
and because i want to be
classy about this (and stress
that this is only one piece of
one side of a story) please
refrain from commenting in
any way about the guy.)





G.K. Chesterson

i am so thankful for all the things i get to say grace before, and all the people who taught me that grace is an act of love.

understanding the bard. and bed. bed, too.

last night i dreamt of a man.

he placed his hands, open palms to my shoulders, equidistant on my back.

and they were clammy.

and this is how i knew he loved me.

and palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

and i awoke thinking my world would never be the same. sensuality and shakespeare elucidated by a single dream? ha, a mystical mind have i!