I’ve done so many embarrassing things, most of them drunk. Sometimes I’ll think back to old me (or whatever) and the person I tried so hard to be or not to be.
Back to nicer memories?
I loved the way you snuggled me in your slumber. To be fair I hated it too, claustrophobic in your sleeping arms, your rumbling breath in my ear, tickling, irritating, too hot, too close… But I loved it just as much. Your skin gentle, voice low and quiet, rhythmic, a soft caress. Despite physical closeness I felt uncomfortable sometimes — too loud, too needy, too talkative, too there. I watched myself, kept myself in check. When we’d first met, it was easier. It must have been the abrupt change of living situation that swayed us, me, to such trepidations.
I don’t know why you’ve been on my mind so often lately. I don’t necessarily miss you, nor did I ever want to be with you longer, or want any more from you than the pseudo-married life of which I got a taste of there. I never knew what you were thinking and I found it hard to adapt to. I guess you made a lasting impression. Perhaps that was part of the reason why. Through and through I knew you as good, pure, with ambitions and a drive to pursue them without the fear of appearing selfish. None of the underlying shame I feel in everything I do, you inspired me to gather my own courage. Now that I write you down, wrap around you a paragraph, all parts of you neatly encased, I can appreciate the incentive to pursue my own selfish dreams, for all of their worth. Without them, what am I worth?
I kept waiting for life to start but drowned years in a bottle of Stoli’s. Today I am confident, proactive, and hope to proceed as such. Verging on 24 and feeling old when at 18 I’d cycled alone, barefoot around Thailand, on a bike picked out with one of the many boys that wanted me, then, the happiest I’ve ever been, swerving through the tangle of Bangkok traffic, he chased me riding delirious into the dusty sunlight.
That was the happiest day of my life. Freedom on a bicycle.
These moments are precious but fleeting by nature. They can’t be pinned down, and would never last a second longer than they already did; a rubber band will always snap. All that we can do is be grateful that they ever occurred in the first place.