I ran away, in the summer before last, to a mount named after a hill I had lived with you in. I ran away from Bellingham for Vernon. It was intentional for reasons I never explained.
Over mountains, I had to pass. By a long road, curving amidst the bay and cars, I had to come. Each journey, I would pack two heavy bags, water, and a lunch. Exhausted, I would stop halfway there, huddle sweat-drenched in the shade, and rest. On occasion, I would pitch my friend-gifted tent and sleep out in the yard just to be under moon and stars. I would stretch, long and slow. I was exactly where I needed to be in those days.
I would disappear myself behind a mug of tea, a screen, and other worlds with friends who did not abandon and deny. I did my best, did everything to be in motion. Every spare moment I had, I pedalled away the pain. And under blanket in an orange leather chair, I was safe enough to not think about the ruin of my world.
It wasn’t so much a choice, but a need. A craving to just be. To be allowed to stop, breath, and see. I was lucky enough to be rescued by the people who knew exactly what I wanted to be: someone who could creatively turn brittle shards of dreams into strong, pretty things.
These days are different because I’ve had time to sit with the changes. And over a year later, I can honestly say: if asked, I’d still give. If you called, I would answer.
I have no reason to lie. To myself. To you. To the universe.
It already knows. I am not strong, but still I carry you – my broken pottery – around. Tuck you – the seed of a black hole – in my pocket and struggle on. You are too heavy to be as small, as insignificant as you are in me. Quantumly speaking, you disappear. Spacially, you are a singularity.
And maybe somewhere in the depths of it all — you remember everything.
I have no hope. I will never find you again. The truth is unkind and hurts. I will grow, change, become what I have been aiming at. I will do what I must, go where I can. And yet.
You will always be there, inside of me, in retrograde. Phantom feelings from the limb that got infected. Wind rustling and tugging on the branches in my heart that were sawed off. Thirst from the cut-off roots I am missing. The aching cracked bed of a spring that dried up.
I will always have a place for you. And yet, I have learned. Lessons I did not want life to teach. Yet teach it did. And now I know–
That we can give it all, and lose.
That we can risk it all, and fail.
That we can bet against the odds.
And be wrong.
Even should the scars dull, I still bear their subtle marks. Carbon deposits built up on a bone. The glint of metal filling up a drilled out hole. Faded lines of tissue drawing a map of where we went wrong. I live each day with the ghost aches in the places where the breaks once were. My body: a painting made in another life, once lived in another way. A thorn burrowed in my mind.
I loved with all I was, and it wasn’t enough.
The ink of us underneath my skin are the ruts of the path I travelled on. And you are a part of my story, no matter what comes. The foundation, regardless if we explode it, left grooves in the ground. The stones were moved, cities made and towers build, regardless if it all crumbled to dust.
You are the dust in my memory of the past. The tiny stone horse in the greenery of my heart. My clearing in the forest where I got lost. My burned-up torch in the dark. My love.
I will never love like I loved you.
I am not sorry.
This is what moving on looks like. I have got to where I had to go. Now, I am replanting. Seeding. Sowing. Regrowing. The work is long and hard, and I do most of it alone. My bed is mine and I sleep as well as I ever will. And I wake with the sun. Regardless of when it comes.
I am happy, Ori. I just wanted you to know. Even though you won’t.