Trapped in a crystal melancholy

8 May

Contact with old friends has been bittersweet, and has reminded me of why I don’t usually seek them out.

Either they expect me to be who I once was, or I ache with the memories of years past. It’s almost like a keening siren in my chest, this urge to run back into my past, back to long summer nights in tall grass, to feet dangling in the cool waters of a placid river. Back to simple, back to days where my life was measured in coffee cups, cigarettes,  thumbs out.

Some days my memories reach up and swallow me so nearly completely that I jerk awake from real life with a start and feel my limbs float ever so gently downwards, into the soft bosoms of yesterday. I can feel the days past, the sun on my back like lazy lizards in the July heat, mirrored off the pavement. Lost walks down cold January streets, the snow cracking under boots, the air so mean around my ears, my hands hanging loose for my friends, veering closer and closer to the black void of the lakeside.

I can feel it, you know? Me at 16, 18, 14, skating around the edges of my present, begging me to remember, to feel it, to find who I was, where I was. I can feel the naivete, as well as the weary little girl paddling to keep ahead. The disappointed daughter. The waste of a life I became. It jars me, these reminders, rattles me loose of my tracks, my complacent life. Who I now am.

Would I recognize this me? At 17, would I know where I would be, what I could become, the children who would spring forth and change my life-literally change everything I am, and will be. Would I recognize the animal snarl in my throat when faced with even the potential of danger to my girls? Would I recognize the bottomless hole of my heart suddenly filled up with tummy laughs, grins and chubby legs?

Would I be content with this? Is my other self content with this? Are my memories, my has beens, satisfied? Would years past clamour for such attention if it was simple and easily passed?

I have no regrets. I have grown and moved and become a woman I never anticipated. But some friends-they trigger feelings of “home” because they may have been, for awhile, the only home I knew. They rise up to remind my where I’ve been, and how I wasn’t happy there.

Everything is always nicer under glass after all.

3 Responses to “Trapped in a crystal melancholy”

  1. mercurial scribe May 8, 2007 at 11:29 pm #

    It seems no one ever becomes who they thought they would, but we who suffer from bipolar more than most, i think. Your words fill my heart with aching as i read them. i honestly have some regrets, but i know i did my best with what i had; i only regret because now i know better and would do better if i had a do-over. But then… well, back then i didn’t know.

    In fact, i’m writing a book on the subject. Seriously.

  2. Netter May 9, 2007 at 9:22 am #

    Most days I don’t even remember who I was in high school. I live too much in my own head, but not so much with the remembering other mes.

  3. bromac May 9, 2007 at 9:27 am #

    Very nice piece, beautiful words.

    For me, looking back only brings pain b/c I was in pain….but I didn’t know what caused it or if it would ever cease. For me it seem to always be unsafe.

    “Some days my memories reach up and swallow me so nearly completely that I jerk awake from real life with a start and feel my limbs float ever so gently downwards, into the soft bosoms of yesterday”
    WOW!

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