On wanting everything.
I came home wired the other night, the way you do when you’ve just spent time with a girlfriend who “gets” you. I have a lot of girlfriends like that these days, whereas I once just had a few.
I’ve gotten better at getting “gotten.”
There were shopping bags on the floor. Maybe a few too many for someone who is filing for a tax extension. What can I say? I like to support my local businesses.
I began to try on my new clothes in front of the mirror. I couldn’t believe this was me I was looking at. I looked 15 years younger than I did 15 years ago, or so it seemed to me. The clothes helped, but the real reason wasn’t what I’d acquired but what I’d given up.
I saw a person who wanted less than she once thought she needed.
Once I decided which of my new clothes I would wear the following day, I folded them up and put them in a bag full of tissue paper. The idea was that I would wake up to a gift I’d given myself. I added a candle, a journal, and my favorite necklace.
I almost lost this necklace once. I was wine drunk, my sweater too hot, my eyes couldn’t breathe.
The room was filled with scattered papers, coincidences, clues that meant nothing. I dropped the necklace while searching through these things that seemed so important, when what was really important was the people who had been here once, people who had left evidence of their presence but who were now gone.
He found me alone in the room, searching for ghosts and meaning. I was a mess. The necklace was a necklace but also everything. “I have never been careful with precious things,” was the phrase running through my head, a phrase I now know is not entirely true.
It didn’t take him long to find the necklace.
He’s gone now. I made him go. I couldn’t be kind to him anymore. I had begun to use him, treating him like a super, a shrink, a chef. A finder of things, a filer of papers, a fixer. Anything but a husband. I didn’t want a husband anymore. I didn’t know what I wanted other than I wanted everything and a husband seemed to stand in my way of everything.
I still want everything.
It’s just that my definition of “everything” is changing.