I feel incredibly sad at this moment. There were so many chances to say hello, to thank a gorgeous man for unknowingly allowing me to write volumes of words upon words upon words that I cherish. All I ever had to do is beg my legs to hold me in place and for my mouth not to betray how much I liked him and for my eyes not to endlessly shift away from him. It almost happened.
Until recently, I would not have posted pictures of myself here, or typed the full name of my poetic inspiration (which I just did all over this blog; I don't care anymore) or been open enough to write a journal entry for the world to see. Until recently I was fucking terrified of having feelings.
Two weeks ago, for a work retreat, I climbed a 25' pole. After the safety instructor checked all the straps and hooks, he asked me to decide symbolically: 1) what I would climb away from, 2) what I would be climbing toward, 3) and what I would jump toward. Without really thinking--I've been struggling with this talking to my muse for about 1.5 years--I answered: 1) away from fear and over-analyzing, 2) climbing toward opening my heart, even if it's crushing, 3) jumping toward love. The climbing was easy. I was kind of perched on the last metal rungs figuring out how to get at least one foot onto the wooden oval on top of this pole. The catch is that these clever little devils who designed this obstacle made sure the wooden oval swivels and is held in with a precariously small bolt (I've seen much bigger around hardware stores). Then I was struck with what I can most accurately term terror. I've felt this most acutely three times in my life. First, when my '61 VW was totaled and I was trapped inside with barely enough sense to climb out of the ragtop because I smelled smoke and gasoline. Next, when a drunk teenager drove her car into the block wall next to my bedroom window at 3am, turning cinder block into rocks and windows into threatening shards that landed next to my pillow. And this day on the pole.
On the pole, all of me shuddered. I also called out a slew of profanity in front of a bunch of my brand new colleagues. Oops. I even sobbed. It couldn't be helped. The instructor lied to me when he said it was too late to climb back down. I could have said "Fuck you. You can't stop me. If you hold that rope and keep me up here, I will fight you!!!" But beyond the lie was the impulse to do it for Bryce. So I could face him without fear. At this realization, I stood quickly and reminded myself to resist grabbing the cord that could wrap around my wrist or arm and snap in in half. Then I jumped. It was quick and painful and I screamed and cried until I felt bad that I had made most of my groupmates cry, even grown men who kept straight faces in every scenario prior and thereafter. They all hugged me and hug me every day at work.
Even with a formidable vocabulary, I cannot access the words for what I felt during and after that jump. My stomach to chest to mind have not experienced those sensations. The expansion told me to stop being a fucking crybaby wimp and talk to him. DC told me to quit being a pussy or he was going to orchestrate a meeting that I would not know about or be able to get out of. We went there tonight. That same sweet place where all Bryce ever had to do was walk and turn his head and it was magic, poetic magic.
DC called and put the phone next to my ear and before I could ask what he was doing a female voice answered. When DC asked for Bryce she answered that he left the state. I walked away in silence. The world became very heavy. Why? Why would I feel so much for someone I do not know. It is absolutely insane to feel so much for so long for someone. I have no desire to write but maybe I'll feel better after this delirium of sleeplessness from regret and blame and missed connection. I do hope he is well with his boyfriend or girlfriend or wife and kids wherever he is.
M, who saw them live last night, informed me that Jehnny often performs in high heels. **Think the following in a southern accent. I don't know why, just play along, okay?** I sure would feel awful if she fell off that stage...onto me...whispering her clear vocals into my--barely-regaining-breath-from-the-wind-knocked-out-of-my-chest--sweet little ear. Oh, goodness gracious, how terrible that might be ;)