Sometimes I like to indulge in nostalgia because it reminds me that things weren’t always like this, that I wasn’t always this person I never wanted to be, that there’s still time for things to be different. The past often creeps up on me like a slow fog but sometimes it shows up like a surprise spring storm. Read: violent. Think: consuming. Winds deafening the world around you, bursts of electricity lighting up the sky, onslaughts of rain pouring down washing everything away.
This is about disappearance. This is about about loss and letting go. This is about the slippery way people fade away in front of you.
When someone stops being the person you remember the first thing that goes is their presence. Even when in the same room together you can feel them elsewhere, traveling far away from you.
This is the easy part.
Equate it to child’s play. Chalk it up to getting older, growing up, moving on.
Permanence is a delicious kind of myth we all like to chew on. But a myth is a myth no matter how good it tastes.
What’s real is the space that marks the absence that was once filled by someone you love. What’s real are the invisible bruises, the discarded mementos, the scar tissue.
But I’m getting away from the story again. The same story I’ve been telling for years but can’t manage to get quite right it seems. Maybe it’s because it’s always changing. Maybe it’s because I am. But I don’t want to talk about that and all of the different things we were and weren’t.
I want to talk about friendship and the lessons we inadvertently and too often brutally teach each other. There is a certain kind of violence in the way that two damaged individuals love one another. Something wicked in the way we wrap our worries and anxieties around the other. Sometimes radio silence hurts more than lighters to wrists, than hurled angry words, than clenched fists. But we’re more than our bad days and the awful things we do when we’re scared and hurting.
Remember the times when the love was as thick as maple syrup? Remember the days that were just long stretches of laughter? We too often forget how truly tender we can be with each other.
So how do we make sense of the mess, dig through the rot and get to the sticky sweet that once was? How do we sort through the past and not get lost in it? How can we make our way back to certain selves again?