Sunday, September 18, 2005

Feast On Scraps...

I did some mental scrapbooking today. The kind when you mentally flip through days, nights, weekends and such. Faces and dates. Feelings and...lack of feelings. You know, mental scrapbooking. All the sentimentality of regular scrapbooking - less mess. And the truth is that I sat down here to whip out one memory. One defiant, victorious, dramatic memory to put into words, to make vivid for everyone that would prove some sort of point. Because each one proves a different point. But now, I just can't seem to pick just one. Well...maybe... There was a time...when I was walking to work. And it began to rain. Hard. It was as if I was walking through a car wash, long strips of soaked, heavy fabric beating me into submission. The rain rushed from sky to ground, making splashes when it hit the pavement. It came at an angle, so not only did it seep through my clothes, soaking me to the bone, but I could feel it slithering down my skin through my collar. I wore a hat, but my hair dripped into my eyes. I didn't want to ruin my headphones, so it went into my ears. I had to keep my head down so I could keep my eyes open. The sky was the color of charcoal...and the rain filled an already rising river. Before I got to the 6th street bridge (it fascinates me that I still remember the name of it), I could no longer tell where the rain stopped and my tears started. I cried so hard that my already weary body shook until it felt like muscle and tissue were starting to give. I was cold. I was soaked. And I felt alone. It felt like the rain was beating on nobody but me. I couldn't see anyone anyway, so it very well may have been. When I got to the bridge the rain and the wind whipped at me harder. I wanted to turn back, go back to my apartment, call my mother, get on a bus and go home. But I kept going forward. I thought for a second, "everyone is going to make fun of me for not having an umbrella". Then I saw someone fight with their own umbrella. The umbrella won. I was happy to avoid another beating. The night before, my aunt said to me, "we're all here for one thing. We can do and love many things, but there's always just one thing...that's best. That we are supposed to be here for." I felt immediately that mine was love. So I gave love the body of a man I'd yet to meet. The smell of his cologne and the way his jaw line moved right into his neck, which moved into his collar bone. The way his hand fit in mine. Did I have a name or a face for him? No. Still don't. Did I know where to find him? No. Still don't know that either. But the knowledge that I would be able to love a man just because that's what I was meant to do...seemed right. And overwhelmingly enough. And I had always wanted to be enough. Truth is that one day I could write about meeting the love of my life. And it could turn out to be enough for me...but not for him. You never know what is to be in life. Real bets are never made or won on sure things. Point is: I realized halfway across the bridge - that the rain really was falling just for me. Each drop. Because nobody remembers that day like I do. Nor the day after, or any of the other days that I keep in the pages of my mental scrapbook. So whenever I do get to the place where the guy is there in the morning, I'll never have to feel the weight of regret for all the days before. Because they're mine. Every single one of them. Mine alone. Delicious little bits wrapped in wax paper, so full of sweetness that the paper sticks - placed inside a delicate little box. All for me. My memories. My days. Me. I stopped feeling alone all those years ago. Instead, I felt as though I was living the life I was supposed to...to get me to wherever it is that I end up. And I'm good with that.