Wednesday, May 23, 2007

breaking the waves

I tend to fall madly in love with certain television shows. The ones I love, I love because their problems and issues are wrapped up within neat little time frames. Minutes, hours, seasons. Some people hate that and say it's unrealistic. I am grateful for the lack of realism. It's refreshing.

There's an episode of 'Gilmore Girls' where Lorelai describes her fear that she might never get, "the whole package". Love. Comfort. Safety. That couple life where you come home and there's someone there. And I love that scene because it's dark and the actress delivers her speech and then she goes back home. Because moments like that never last long. They come in waves.

By the time I'd crawled into bed Saturday night, my brain was twirling with the kind of introspection that always makes it twirl. I woke up the next day just a'pondering away until close to 10 o'clock when I found myself sitting on the steps in Rachel's garage. It had been a rough day for repetitive reasons...

"Am I doing alright?" I asked her, my head on her shoulder.

"You're doing just fine," she said.

After a few moments, I choked on the words as they came out. "I'm lonely." I said. The boys were inside, they'd already gone to bed. The radio was playing and the garage door was open slightly, letting the night air in.

I've never been a dependent person. Or that girl who searches self-destructively for a man, falling in love with whichever new face walks into the bar, getting overly or emotionally attached... Yet I can't help but admit that sometimes, it's hard going home. It's hard to face the dishes in the sink that no one else is going to wash, to face the mail no one else is going to pick up after work, to see the empty bed or face the silent apartment on the days I'm down. To listen to everyone else discuss their boyfriends and fiances and husbands.

It comes in waves.

Lately, those waves follow nights when I'm happiest - oddly. Like this night. The day after I'd been out with friends who came together to give me a belated birthday. Who watched me dance and bought me a cake and made my favorite dinner. I got in my car and drove home - knowing there'd be no one to talk to when I got there - and the combination of that with an already weak mind (thanks to the alcohol) made for a horrible mood the next day.

"Don't worry," Rachel said. "You got me." And she told me not to cry, but she cried for me anyway. She hugged me tight and reminded me that no ordinary man would do. It's why I love her. She breaks the wave.

Tonight, I tell Kim about a couple of offers for more freelance work that have come my way - and she sounds excited. Later, she and Andrea call me after one - or two - bottles of wine. I am at work and they have me on speaker - and I feel fifteen again. I am the one cleaning the fryers and the hot dog machine and they are the ones in the back room gossiping and flipping through Cosmo and Glamour.

They repeatedly start sentences with, "When you're a famous writer," and they call me successful and tell me they're proud of me. And I know they mean it. Not like the people who say that and you can't tell if they're being honest. They say it like they mean it. They say it like they're proud. They say it like family. And that is why I love them. They break the wave.

On my way in to work, I take comfort in these - the characters in my own little story. Nobody will ever see them as I do. Nobody will ever capture them as I do.

And having them in the absence of others, I realize, is part of the whole package.

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