Truth be told: I am a hot mess (sometimes) whose fleeting responses to intimacy come at the cost of authentic relationships and cause much more heartache in trying to protect myself from injury than that of actually putting myself out there.
So, imagine my surprise when she said, “Next time, let’s sit at the front of class. Save a seat for me if you get there before I do.” Rarely am I so immediately confused. But in all eagerness, I longed to honor her modest request; racing toward our next class, determined to keep my word; shunning conversations with others; she’d never know I had been running. Instead, she is there waiting–for me.
Beneath a veil of rusting candied-apple locs shown a constellation of opulent freckles mapping the territory of heaven; her eyes more brilliant than all earth and ocean. Her voice: a testimony of long-awaited nights of winter’s intimacy. My gaze is fixed upon her lips, studying every syllable of her native tongue, frozen by the whisper of a [ch]ill.
Worlds apart in so many ways, but the sudden collapse of distance accentuated the glory of our peculiaris.
So, why am I searching for everything “wrong” with my life; everything wrong with me; exaggerating all the differences; fabricating consequences; trying to convince myself that “she” and “me” could never be “we;” negotiating my heart’s desire only to torment myself with the specter of a dream I never once had?
She wrote: “Analysis does not count the creative product of the neurotic desire.”
So I’m sayin’, do not read from Anaïs Nin if you are not ready to be tossed out of the comfort of your illusions, unless you are ready to be robbed of your false sense of security, if you are not ready–>to feel<–I swear your very own heart will betray you and deny you refuge.
She wrote: “Deprived of the opium of intensity I fell into an abyss” and I recall the emptiness of my self-righteous logic of love that denied myself quintessential desires. I can’t even begin to count all the elaborate fantasies I’ve concocted about relationships that were no less than attempts to protect my ego.
Don’t read from this woman unless you are ready to get intimate with yourself. Almost like a part of me has been given some purpose again, if not for the first time. While a dormant, indispensable, primal, and libidinous force is resurrected. Up to this moment everything else has been so intentional, calculated, codified, and complicated to the point of disingenuousness.
Strangely enough, the only thing that hurts in the least are my cheeks because I can’t wipe this ridiculous grin off my face. I’ma keep on readin’!
Patriarchy will tolerate no such thing as “unraveling” from men, but over the past few days I have literally come undone. This is, of course, a good thing. It might not feel that way from time to time. Removing the sutures of pride, arrogance, lust, fear, inter alia, stings at the sudden exposure to a deepening darkness.
But there is comfort in the depths of my own uncharted emotional territories; comfort of learning what has been for so long awaiting discovery–places undisturbed.
And in all this unraveling I find tremendous relief. Pain. Then relief. Then pain again. And so on. Further into the darkness. It’s amazing how a little Anais Nin and Adrienne Rich turned down the lights low enough for me to see. Studying so much war I forgot the reason I came here–Love.
I returned to school because I love. After all, what is it all about–life, social justice, freedom, clean water, fresh air, peace–if not for love, right? However, I never anticipated I would be in love–with anyone–even though I suspect it has always been my heart’s desire. Nevertheless, I am coming undone still.
A good thing? No! A magnificent thing! Only one issue: I never had the courage to tell you. In hindsight I revisit all the opportunities you gave to me to just say something. I have never been more afraid in all my life than of what stirred inside me at the very mention of your name.
And suddenly it begins to make sense…I never gave myself the opportunity to commit, to come undone. I stayed single for five years and bragged about freedom all the while building a prison. I became secured in a fortress of illusions (the perfect place for a patriarch) built about a logic of love.
I played a game of comfort. Never getting too close. Always keeping enough doors open to reassure myself of my arrogance. Now the fortress is crumbling. And my emotions laid bare. Nowhere left to conceal the grief of watching you walk away.
A river runs through where stone walls once stood, tracing the steps of your journey, racing towards hope.