‘The whiskey has coated all my synapses, and everything is sharp and clear.’
–The Time Traveler’s Wife
Slowly waking up from a daze that’s lasted years and years.
Everything up to this point feels like it happened to someone else. I can’t discern my own past from the memories others have shared with me over the last ten years.
A boy waiting for me in the parking lot, leaning James Dean-like against an early 80s sedan. Rucksacks and hooahs and buzz cuts and Airborne graduation. A hundred, a thousand, sleepless nights (ihaventsleptawholenightthroughinfiveyears). Plane rides and taxis and Amtraks and rentals. Editing in Chinese and spilling my darkest secrets to strangers and the relief of not giving a fuck. The deepest yearning to bypass all social conventions and lay everything on the table. A dozen homes in half a dozen years. Boy after boy who thought they knew what was best for me. Feeling it all. Dismissing it all. Group therapy and SSRIs and walking dangerous lines and, miraculously, breaking through the surface, finding myself surprised to be alive and breathing still. Breathing. I am alive. Breathing, breathing, breathing.
Suddenly, I am alert. Something in me, in the universe, changed while I was away.
I am ready to start over.