When I get really deep inside my head, a light turns off. Or pounds rapidly. I couldn't tell you which is which. But this absence of light- or frequent pounding- is filled with angry yesterday-words. And if you have no idea what 'yesterday-words' are, then you aren't living in my head.
But let me inform you. 'Yesterday-words' can be anything you didn't do, but mostly say, the day before. When I get really deep inside my head, I pull from every yesterday. From every last time I didn't say something, or said the wrong thing. I pull from my moments of weakness and from the moments I came on too strong. And, on those nights when the lights are definitely pounding and the only thing that knows how to go as quickly is a stronger heart than mine, I let my mind play tricks on me. I am at the mercy of my imagination.
Today, a storyteller in Central Park, by the Hans Christian Anderson statue, signed "imagination" in ASL. I forgot how much the sign for "imagination" looks like "crazy." Or the way "crazy" looks to girls in Elementary school who "brush their teeth and curl their hair." And my imagination is driving me crazy.
Let me tell you something about being alone: As a person who loves solitude, being alone is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Time with your thoughts, your fingers, your sense of humor. It's when being alone becomes ugly, when you fear the other side of loneliness, that you go crazy. I spend my days with people. I teach, I explore, I'm spending the rest of six weeks taking new eyes through my favorite city and yet, in the moments surrounding that bustle, my fingers aren't sure if what they're wrapping themselves around.
I would like it to be you.
I would like it to be Ireland.
Partaking in a similar program two years in a row magnifies the differences between those years.
I think that's what I'm grappling with here (aren't you glad you've been reading this long- confused-only to realize I'm equally so?): I'm not the same person I was last year. I think I can say this relieved, a little. This year has been filled with learning curves and chances. This year has been filled with a new kind of love- with more definitions and less answers (or is it more answers and less definitions? Perhaps nothing is definitive. Is that the answer?).
I'm a doer. I do, sometimes without thinking. Scratch that. I'm always thinking. But I'm rarely thinking about the big picture. I do things in the moment: Certain my actions will lead to something good. Confused when they do not. Cyclically. Cynically.
But I'm trying to get better.
Very few things are more difficult than trying to improve. Accepting that there's a problem may take the cake, though.
I like cake. But I don't like problems. Or thinking that I have one.
In fact, my favorite thing is perfect-cake.
If people could be perfect-cake, they would have that perfect frosting to sponge-ratio. They would be just sweet enough. They would cut into six identical pieces and cost $5 at Billy's Bakery.
People, however, tend to run too spongey or salty.
The other thing about people is that you can't put a price on them. Even when we look back on friendships that went sour or moments we let slip away, in a world of materialism, we haven't managed to put monetary value on memories.
Instead, we envelop them in yesterday-words.
If yesterdays serve as our building blocks, they never escape, merely shape us into far more seductive forms than the day before. We're a little wiser, a little more worried. And we have a little more to associate with yesterday.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal.