Maybe if I write these words slowly, it will make them hurt less.

I can’t remember what I wrote yesterday, but it had that dizzying effect that swings sometimes have: nauseating, like maybe I should have kept my feet planted on the ground. But I have always loved the idea of flying, and being on swing sets is the closest to the clouds I have ever felt. Still, the warning label reads: don’t vomit your lunch. So maybe I stopped eating lunch to avoid the hazard, and maybe I didn’t notice the hunger pangs before, but they are demanding now. I guess I tend to ignore some things until it’s too late.

“Slow and torturous,” I always said, but I wasn’t referring to this–this washing machine spinning of memories I sometimes wish I didn’t have. I’m stuck in November, like the family cat who’s been left in the house, watching from the window as they pile the boxes in the trunk, squeeze some more things between the seats. Leave. But I don’t watch them for very long, the cool hands of remembering, stroking my head, beckoning for my complete attention. I turn around. Stay. I hardly notice the passing of days, but the succession of time is undeniable now: they are moving on into the New Year, and I will still be lodged in November like a splinter.

I haven’t played that song in a while, and I could tell you why, but some things are supposed to just be mine. Maybe one day I’ll tell you what I mean. He said something to me last night, while we were packing up the ambulance, and those words stuck to my brain like a postcard glued to the fridge with tree sap: they held me captive. And I could tell you what he said, why it had me contemplating throughout that entire drive–so much so that I sat idle at a flashing red light, in the absence of traffic–but this one really is mine.

I’ll share this instead: I have been reading a lot because it’s an escape. And I have been escaping a lot because I don’t want to remember what’s happened, what will happen, what can never happen. I’ll tell you what I mean by this and look at you with the hope that you’ll respond, “It was all just a bad dream anyway.” So I don’t hope. Not for that, anyway. Maybe I will look at you still, but that’s only because I want to fix what cannot be and I want what’s broken to be some kind of functional again. I think the word for this is reconciliation. But at the end of the day, when I glance up from the pages and pages of fantasy, I am sitting in the same place as where I began.

Maybe if I write these words slowly, it will make them hurt less. I doubt it. But I don’t know how else to phrase it: I am letting you go.

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