this is one from the vault, i had to edit this to reflect a slightly different mindset and still find the peace in it. it might have lost something in the translation to past tense.
it is also possible nothing at all was lost. i’m too close to this to tell the difference.
it might not be online too long either, not sure about the releasing it, but clicking post anyway.
* * *
i pulled up in front of the house with ‘dogs’ loud on the buick’s decent speakers, slid the shifter into park and flicked the keys to ACC. slid down in the seat and felt my teenaged self emerge from the shadows of seventy seven, wearing her self-loathing like a scratchy polyester gym suit. i brushed her tangled hair away from her eyes, and offered her a glimpse of something perfect.
and even though i only had that vision and the music that had conjured her to offer, somehow it was enough, and it ended the quarter century we had spent worshipping at the feet of something we were never quite good enough for. finally, living in the shadow of an ideal that found us inadequate was over.
you could see the relief in her: she was no longer trying to hide herself, you could feel her seeing herself through eyes that weren’t disappointed, even embarrassed by the sight. and then she turned to me and asked, her voice pure teenager, all sarcastic angst and angry, “what’s the point though? it’s not … ” and i interrupted her, and i said “hush child, not tonight. whatever this is, it is not about us being enough or not. before, there was always the thought, if only we did this or that, if only we weren’t what we are, we could be loved; we blamed ourselves, we believed that we were unlovable by default.
“now look. look! no one has ever known us like this, distance notwithstanding; there has never been another, not like this. and whatever happens, it will not be because we failed to fix what was wrong about us, it will be a matter of circumstances entirely beyond our control.”
she sat silent for a moment, looking a little disconcerted, then asked, “so … there is nothing we can do?” i nodded, thoughtful, and processed this in my own mind, knowing just what she meant. and i had to admit, “yes, in some ways it did feel better when it felt like we could change things ourselves, but it was still a bad thing.”
i studied the stubbornness in her shadowed face for a long, quiet while. neither of us were anywhere near done struggling with this aspect of it. finally, shaking her head, she whispered, “yeah, … i know.”
and then i was alone.
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