I have always been afraid of falling off bridges.
I’ve spent the last two years arguing myself out of and back into every possible path I could take, and I’m starting to wonder if this purgatory I can’t seem to get out of is punishment for the decisions I can’t seem to make.
This happened a long time ago, so don’t worry. Even if it didn’t, pretend that it did.
Last night, I told A. about the horrible breakup, and then I came home and repeated the tale to B. and Z., even though B.’s been hearing it for months. It’s funny, no matter how many times I tell the story, how many people call him names or fume with the outrage I can no longer conjure, it never seems to make much of a difference.
I mistook the falling rain for approaching footsteps, so when the rainbow appeared, I didn’t want to look.
I’ve been shaving my legs for fifteen years, and I’m still shocked by how much blood a single nick of the razor can draw. The sudden sting that rises when open skin meets water. Whenever I feel it happen, I put down the blade and shut off the shower and wait for the blood to bead out of hiding.
I don’t understand the concept of choices at all.
I have always been afraid of falling off bridges, but I leap into love like a woman who would skydive not knowing if her parachute will open. Just a few words hit in just the right spot, and I’m smitten. Be anything at all sort of like the kind of person I think I need, and I’m yours. The therapist I don’t have would raise a high brow, I know, at this rampant, desperate behavior.
Generally speaking, we all know much more than we’d like to admit.
That night, A. and I also talked about a mutual acquaintance who got accepted into a prestigious grad program in New York and is now here in Portland, raising a baby. “I think she went, though,” I said. “I think she finished, and then she came back and had the baby.” Relief flooded A.’s face. “Oh good,” she said, and closed her eyes. “I’d hate to think…” She didn’t finish, but she didn’t have to. We both knew what she’d hate to think.
No matter how many times I repeat the story, I’m never satisfied with how it comes out. I’m starting to think I’m not telling it right.
During our first session, the therapist says, “Do you know the term ‘moderation’?” I assume both the fact that I say, “No,” and that it doesn’t even occur to me to lie is going to count in my favor. Then again, when the clown asks the same question, I throw popcorn in his face and run. So I guess it depends on who wants to know.
Why do I always choose to go outside the moment the sky splits open?
In her novel, Contents May Have Shifted, Pam Houston says, “I don’t think it is so much about the story anymore. I think it’s about what kinds of possibilities are out there when you can finally stop telling the story.”
You wouldn’t think someone like me could forget how to use her imagination.
Whenever people try to comfort me by saying, Oh, but you’re still so young, what I hear is, You’re not old enough to want things as badly as you do. Because, if I’m honest, I don’t think I’m good enough and never really have. In some ways, I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone to come along and give me permission.
Things I’ve been asking myself lately: does the story choose you, or do you choose the story?
I’m starting to wonder if writer’s block is really a thing, or if it’s just something I’ve invented because I don’t remember how to try. I mean, it stopped being about him a long time ago. I’m starting to wonder if it ever really was.
I have always been afraid of falling off bridges. Oh, but do I know how to fall.
If you ask me, “How much of this is true, and how much isn’t?” I will have to respond, “Does it matter?” If the metaphor conveys more accurate emotions than the reality, isn’t that what’s most important? Not the color of the water, but how it looked when I was in it. Adding a body changes everything.