Last year, exactly one year ago I was on a cruise around the Thimble Islands. I asked the captain if anyone had ever jumped off and he said yes, a girl who got into a fight with her boyfriend ran and dove off (she swam to an island and was safe). I remember saying I could relate to her, under all the pretty lights in the Branford harbor that summer night. I could relate to feeling so stuck that you would launch yourself out in the starry night and into dark waters for some peace, some clarity, for a release from the pain. I’ve waxed poetic about love lost, about the times I sat by the water and miss eating bagels and people watching with you. We both aired our grievances over and over, we’d burn that vinyl record then put on a new one. But every time I give out my heart, my hand for support, or my ear to listen, I remember. I close my eyes and stretch my hand out to touch to your face but when I open them I’m just standing alone, in the rain. And I remember. I remember my face bruised, blue and black (then it turned a yellow-ish color) that I frantically covered in too much makeup and would sink into my work office with the lights off, cowering in the darkness. I was ashamed, embarrassed and hurt. A year marks that time when I thought I wouldn’t – no, couldn’t – continue this life. But I kept going and found my happiness on my own and eventually with someone else. I had to know what true pain and hell felt like to decide to turn the wheels around and start building a better, healthier, happier life for myself.
The other side of nostalgia. The dark parts you keep in the secret gardens of your brain. But when those thoughts come flooding back, you remember. You remember you once loved chaos in human form.