If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When the surf was high, the sounds of the sea was one continuos roar, heavy, deep, dark, sombre, with all kinds of variation, and at its height you felt it also came from the very earth beneath your feet. Composers would have called this the opera of the sea, poets would have called it the expression of the bleeding dawn sky, and priests the voice of god in nature.
It was one of those gray mornings I’ve come to love, those days you need to bundle up but it’s still warm, the wind just a soft breath muffled by the cloud cover. The hills were showing a hint of gold, the spring’s lush green hues fading slowly to the ochre of summer. Oats swayed gently in the breeze, their wispy tips creating waves across the ground. It was a perfect morning, one that begged for pause. We stopped at the top of the trail, letting the valley spread out below us in a wash of muted green and gold.
I’ll never be able to explain the way he makes me feel, the way he’s been my constant for the past four years, though heartbreak and sickness and anger and the dark days. He was there for them all, his patience infinite and his presence filling up my being.
I don’t expect anyone to understand that. I can hardly put our relationship into words; it’s a union built on power and trust and the strangest kind of love. Even when I’ve been at my very worse, he carried my burdens and lifted me back up. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve stuck together because together we are perfect.
This is a scary world with too much pain and too much suffering, and only place I’ve ever felt safe - ever - has been with him. It’s a strange state of being, when I’m with him, like nothing could possibly touch me. Everything is, for a brief moment, perfect. And the thought of losing him - the fact that I will lose him eventually - is the most terrifying at all. But I suppose I can hold onto what we’ve had, how far we’ve come, and the fact that for now, we still have each other. These last four years have been, despite their setbacks, the best of my life, and I couldn’t have done it without him by my side.
This is one of those nights that begs to be spent writing and drowning out reality in music and staring at the sky and hoping the morning never quite arrives.
lazy saturday fiction.
The day I brought you home, it was drizzling a bit outside. I only remember that because I had to brush a few droplets off you before I settled you into your spot by the bay windows. You were bright and spry, clearly unfazed by the drab weather. I knew you needed sunshine, but that day the slate sky was no problem; in fact the dampness seemed to nourish you. It lifted my spirits a bit, distracted me from the ache inside. Part of me knew that feeling would never go away, but I understood that I had to let it make me stronger. I wasn’t going to go to that dark place again.
I think it was a Friday, the day I picked you up. We had that party on Saturday, and a few people commented on you. “Brightens the place up a bit, doesn’t it? That might help.”
Sometimes I forgot you were there. You’d blend in, and I would be so wrapped up in life that it would be a few days before the fact of your existence would spring into my mind and jolt me into action. You always bounced back, your limbs unfurling in a spray of life, still unaffected by my ineptitude. You were resilient in a way I could never be.
My slip-ups weren’t an entirely bad thing; I was clearly busy, carrying on with life as anyone would. Those periods when I really fussed over you were the worst, when my insides hurt the most and my head was a fog. Sometimes it only lasted a day, or an afternoon if I was lucky. I’d try to run outside and soak up some sun, hoping the rays would fill me with some sense of wellbeing. It didn’t always work.
Eventually I learned that scars like mine never heal, or go away, or do whatever songs and books and movies tell us scars do. I learned that bandaids are stupid and that the only way I was going to get better was to embrace everything that hurt, to wrap my head around it and take it in and make it part of who I was. It was frightening and liberating, and you were there for all of it, changing in your own way. You grew as I grew, changed your shape and colors as I realized who I was and who I needed to be. And then you slipped away, little by little, and I didn’t see it. I was so wrapped up in myself, in trying to heal myself and make things okay that I completely shut out anything that mattered. There’s a difference between healing yourself for the sake of being able to live with yourself as a person and doing so for the sake of others. Honestly, we need a little of both. I needed to be okay, but not at the expense of anyone else. That was my last mistake. The losing never stops sometimes, but this time I knew I could handle it.
I’ve given you quite a bit these past few days with the hope that you’ll spring back, but it looks grim. I never realized how much you meant to me until I noticed the state you were in. It’s silly, really, how attached I was. You’re easily replaceable, just something that caught my eye that day I was at my lowest, my body still stinging from the loss. But for whatever reason, you mattered. Through the recovery,the piecing together of what I had left of life, you were stoic. You didn’t mind my occasional neglect, were fine with the long nights and the days I didn’t want to get up. Through it all, you soaked up the sun and water, drank in my sorrows and continued to bloom.
I don’t know what your average lifespan should be, and at this point it doesn’t matter. Part of me thinks it’s time to move on, to let you wither away and go out with Monday’s garbage. Maybe I’ll replant something in your pot - some succulents or another hardy type that will endure my frequent forgetfulness.
A few months ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about simply replacing you. Out with the old. But I’m somehow wiser now, though not in any outwardly tangible way.
I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want to lose the part of me that was broken, and I’m not sure why. That part of me is better now, in a shaky sense, but it’s still very much present. It’s a daily reminder that I’ve conquered demons, that I’ve bounced back in some haphazard way. It’s motivation to keep getting better, because where else can I go but forward? And so I hope you bounce back too. I understand if you don’t, and I won’t replace you. You served a purpose and I suppose I don’t particularly need you around. But I wouldn’t be sad if you sat by those windows another year and kept me company. I’ll grab one more glass of water and hope you wake up tomorrow.
The drive was very different this time. I’ve done it a million times (probably closer to two or three dozen, let’s be real); but this trip had a different vibe to it.
It felt like I was finally going home. I also finally got that terrifying feeling that my life was changed forever. It finally hit me that school was done and that this time, I was going back to a real life. I have the same friends, the same responsibilities and house and activities to do. But this is a fresh start, a chance to make something of myself and be more than who I was in school.
I guess I’m home.