Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Hesitant Hello

It has been a while since I wanted to talk to you. I have been having a lot going on recently and have felt overwhelmed by all these changes.

I suppose I've gotten used to changes again. But I admit that I have been one to hold on a little too tightly to things, especially when there isn't much to be done.

To be honest I don't really know how I am feeling as of late. It comes in waves. I am happy then sad, then stressed, then elated, then somber, then exhausted. The cycle of this has been on repeat the last couple of weeks.

I haven't been writing to you lately. This makes me sad. It isn't that there isn't anything I wish to say or anything. I've just been consumed.

Consumed has always been an interesting word, especially as an excuse. But I suppose that is what this hesitant hello is... an excuse to tell you everything you've missed.

I accomplished a goal, Howard. I've met a goal that I didn't know I could accomplish. But now I'm left with the "now whats" and the "what comes nexts."

Do I graduate early? Do I act my age and do something completely spontaneous and out of character? Do I work harder and harder not knowing exactly where it will lead me? Do I stay focused or loosen up?

What is it? What do I do?

The insomnia has come back again. I know my body is trying to tell me something. I can feel it burning in the back of my brain, screaming its way through the organs and flesh and bones.

Sometimes I want to tear off this skin because it feels heavy. When I write I occasionally forget to breathe until I finish the sentence I am working on and then my brain starts to panic.

"Breathe for Christ's sake!"

Through the gasps and choking I feel the humanity of my short lifespan. I'm a blink of an eye, really. We all are. You were.

But I don't ever think I will get over that some sort of magic that is within us. We heal. We are self-healers. I healed partially after you died. Not halfway or anything impressive, but just a bit. Just enough to remember.

So there it is. My hesitant hello. I said not really much of anything, I suppose. But somehow I feel okay for now.

Written: 4.25.17

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Jane Austen Plague

"I can't ever escape Jane Austen," He would say in exasperation.

There we would be, Mom and I, on the couch with popcorn in our hands and tissues on the table. We were (yet again) watching the BBC versions of the Jane Austen novels.

We'd smile hesitantly, almost guilty, for watching Pride and Prejudice for the third weekend in a row. Mom and I basically had the lines down for some of the scenes and were not ashamed to practice them in public, laughing and smiling uncontrollably.

"Howard, we cannot help it if Colin Firth is perfection," I would say to him. He'd lift one of his thick grey and black brows and cross his arms.

"How is this productive?" He'd say.

"You're the one who bought these DVDs!" I'd say back. Mom would laugh at our bantering.

And of course Howard would just mumble something under his breath and make a break for it to escape the English romantics. I always thought that was a little odd since he was the one who gave me the actual novels in the first place.

He was a true romantic at heart too, no matter how much he liked to fake it.

And then the week after it would repeat over again. This time Mom and I would be marathoning Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion. 

"Not again," He'd mumble.

I would point one finger at him and say something like, "Shh this is the best part."

And there he'd be, watching the scene play out with us. 

He could never escape Austen. Our eldest cat is named Jane, if that is any indication. 

I believe I first read the novels when I was 13. I would lay out in the woods under the sycamore trees on summer nights, letting trees become the sound effects for the scenes. 

What was that quote that I liked? From Pride and Prejudice?

"What a shame for I dearly love to laugh."

How all of us used to laugh.... His laugh was one of the most contagious and comforting baritones. I wish we laughed more like that. It almost feels wrong to laugh without him here sometimes. He would think that was silly, though. He'd tell us to laugh. 

I hope I don't forget what it was like though. I hope I don't forget how to laugh as fully as we did. That would almost be as sad as losing him in the first place.  

Written: 4.18.17