Roof view after rain. NYC - Spring 2005.
I am testing the bounds of my will today. For the better part of an hour, I watch a simple poof of white cloud slowly extend from one side of my window to the other. I am puzzling over a jumble of real and created moments from the reserves of my mind. Time weighs heavily on my heart, tearing me into directions of past and future simultaneously.
I desire equally to make peace with sadness and its injurious claims on my past as well as to woo the future in a delicate seduction of bright linens and austere sailboat rides. At times, it is painful to contemplate, worse when the deliberation affords only handfuls of sand. What I yearn for are the baubles that will buy my bejeweled future. I dig through the wreckage of my past, searching for whatever it is that will be a moment to afford such riches. Unbury the unexamined life. The rabbit hole leading into a future that encompasses all the desires which were poured into the instant of my existence.
And yet, like a fool or a poet, I am moved to just sit with my reverie of a cloud inching imperceptibly across a path of view that encompasses less than two feet.
I often wonder why I never just left my family behind and moved to New York earlier, when I was eight or nine. Surely, I could have found an apartment and job with a little bit of patience. It seems realistic to me since that is what I have now, but I know it would have been impossible. Instead, I had my window and my bedroom. I would shut my door and stare out the window as I do now.
Then, my greatest fantasy was to get a cheap clunker car and cover it in raunchy bumper stickers. My plan was to drive to see every state in the country and I would do it in alphabetical order.
From my dark blue encyclopedia, I learned the order of the states by heart. Whenever grief settled in threatening silence over my house, I would plan my escape. I would would lie in my bed and trace the route across the bumpy white expanse of my ceiling.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas . . . I imagined the breeze through the window and the radio, all mine for the choosing. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware. . . I would hold my hand out and let it surf the crests and waves of air eddying around my car as I followed each alphabetically decided horizon. Waving hello to a present that belonged only to me.
One day, I realized that I could never make a drive from Georgia to Hawaii, so I decided I would save The Aloha State for last. I would leave Wyoming and head west for the Pacific. When I got there, I would find a boat and sail towards Hawaii, to see the place where the details of my life were first imagined. Wearing stickers on my cheeks and flowers in my hair.
File under: Alphabet, Aloha, Landslide