Canneles, regardless of how good or bad, will always remind me of Portland. Of the four, five something years I spent there. Of the growth and the change I felt in my bones, like the coming shift of a metamorphasis.
Back then, I was in consuming mode and I took as much as I pleased, and I spent long days and hard nights feeling guilty about it. But I was too addicted to the feeling and it was impossible to stop. Little did I know, like a caterpillar, it may have just been my nature. Little did I know what it might be building me toward. Little did I know what the shape of a butterfly was or what the time spent in a cacoon would be like.
So I ate canneles and chocolate croissants and bread with lots of butter, oil, vinegar. I ate meat covered in spicy sauce inside burritos the size of my forearm, meat sliced thick and stacked high on sandwiches literally the size of my head. I drank whiskey and spiced rum and bottles of sweet white wine. I experienced food carts on lazy afternoons and took to cafes from noon until they’d close. I ate quiche with apples and cheese just about every day.
And I did it all with you by my side. A steady companion to listen to the sound of our chewing with. Food, thoughts, images, ideals, and philosophies. Everything was edible to us. And we came to conclusions that in the light of our guilt and consumption seemed good. And I think I can safely say in retrospect — they were.
We did all we could do.
And it planted the seed of our end.
And there was no changing that.
And there never will be.
So when I write letters, I quiet the part of me that wants to say things like, “Why not?” and “It could work.” And when I look at pictures of a present you I think I don’t really know — I tuck away the part of me that thinks it does. And when I think of your coming, I seal up the part of me that thinks honesty is the best policy.
Because I’ve learned. In some situations, discernment is what you need.
And sometimes the “everything” we think so say is only momentary thoughts that, like morning dew, will evaporate in the sun.
I am evaporating my want for you.
I am trying.
It is difficult in this steady humid August air to get things to dry properly, so you will have to forgive me. The pages of you and I have been soaked through from a flood in the past and the edges have curled and I am still trying to lay heavy things atop of them to straighten them out.
I don’t have it yet.
I’m still struggling.
But I have to get it.
But change is a long and narrow road. It is easy to slip, stumble, fall. And from the places I land, I have to climb back up again. Each time a new route. Tracking my location by the stars that are — in this endless city — impossible to see. But my heart knows where they ought to be, so I map things tentaively. Checking by shadows and the rising of the sun if I am moving in the right direction.
Today, the sun rose on my right and the moon set on my left and I think that means I am headed North. Toward the pole. To stand at the point of gravity’s access and let the wind point me in a new direction. I can’t see it yet because I have not arrived.
But I feel the shift coming.