I have been carrying a lot of ghosts around with me today, some friendlier than others. Chris, as every year, is called to mind in January when blood oranges are in season.
I have a test day on Wednesday at what I hope will be my new workplace- I made blood orange macarons for the interview and they came out perfectly, like biting into a fresh orange. Like an escape from the winter to someplace warm. Topped with a sparkling slice of candied orange, died blood red. What a sparkling haunting. What promise seems to hang in the January air. The wind has been so strong recently, and everyone’s cheeks are bitten red.
I am filled with hope, and anxiety, and sugar. I am bundled up in scarves and sweaters.
Chris was not the first person I lost to suicide, nor was he the last. We’ve all seen too much death.
We’ve all been bitten by the cold.
Crisis Hotline Austria: 142
National Suicide Hotline USA: 1-800-273-8255
Every time I go to crop a selfie it offers me the prompt to “straighten” the photo, and it always makes me laugh. Because I can edit all I want, but this bisexual disaster is always going to slant a little bit queer.
I don’t want to eat,
I want to sit around being fragile
And subsist on sparkling water
I want there to be something left in my day
I want to turn the internet off, open the windows,
And listen to yesterday’s thunderstorm.
I want the rain to wash the sidewalks away with the hours,
To return me to the twilight of yesterday, before we…
I want to do yesterday over again:
To do nothing. To do more, to do less,
To speak up when I was hurting.
When you were hurting me.
I want to have never started, or to have lingered
In the moment, after the first time I asked you to stop
Before I said “Where is the dominant guy who threw me over the desk?”
I want to have stayed there- in your surprisingly gentle arms,
To have fallen asleep.
I want to be the worst kind of hypocrite, I want a cigarette.
After your tobacco breath and all my complaints-
I want to hang my head out the window and blow the smoke into the January air,
Watch it curl toward the cobblestones on the courtyard
Like a woman descending spiral stairs.
The French have a word for this. Usually, it’s the Germans,
Coming in with vocabulary lacking in English.
But today it’s the French:
L’espirit de l’escalier
The ghost of the things we should have said.
I have so much left to say to you.
I want our story to keep going, too.
An addition to the poem:
I remembered tonight that my ultimate dream vacation
A trip aboard the Orient Express,
Runs from Istanbul
Maybe one day we will go.
Maybe one day I will look back and realize I was always heading toward you.
This blog is slowly becoming a love letter to anxiety, as anxiety is slowly becoming a long-lost-lover of mine.
Look at me, chubby and smiling and feeling absolutely gorgeous.
Look at me, dare I say it, relaxing.
I’ve been listening to love songs as ever, but for the first time in forever there’s no longing. Just the comfortable exhale of a woman who trusts that he is going to call her.
I trust this one, he’s got me glowing.
You make me want to wait.
You make me want to erase
every man before you.
You make me want
to be a good woman.
You make me want to be holy.
Evidently, if you play your cards right, the locals in Austria waltz at midnight. So I spent the first minutes of 2022 gasping from laughter, swept off my feet in the emerald green silk gown I chose to wear.
I waltzed my way into midnight.
2021 was a trash fire, and I am standing beside it basking in the glow, but 2022 is looking awfully good from here.