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Purgatory - Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019
Friday, Feb. 17, 2006 @ 9:56 pm
Indian Arm holds my love, for him. From the rocky beaches, white clamshell shoals, through forests and mossy ledges, open dry south slopes and damp thick north slopes, to the ridges, the peaks, we tread together. Imagining space, place, what the city was like before. Always before, because things were better then: silent save for the raven's percussive laughter.
I disappointed my father on his 60th birthday.
My thighs, thick and shining, like a horse's, move me through the paturelands. A wind, a Cloverdale-scented gust, hints of ocean salts, and the sunshine. Bark mulch, hock-deep, rutted from hooves, rebounds behind me. It smells like home.
The weekday borderlands are empty. Chains swing, clang, over the jumps of the cross country course. Campbell Downs. Border the edge of my faith, dream, hope. I'm this close to heaven. I know what it will feel like, like this, high up there.
At his birthday dinner I sit there giving advice all expert on relationships. I denounce Valentine's Day, traffic, and the phoney people in the restaurant.
-You're becoming a hermit.
Is that bad? So you're just going to sit back, ride the city and consume, fuel the fire that will combust your condo, the world? Actually, I don't particularly like you right now. You're just like everyone else.
Bewildered, vacant. I leave my sweater on the chair beneath the projection screens, granite chimney.
On the street I light matches, pulled one at a time from the matchbook I took from the restaurant. I phone the number printed on it and claim my striped, pilled, fifteen-dollar sweater.
It rains. I have the sweater back. Pull it on. Alone in the front seat of the van. Rusted, 1988. I cry. Driving, rain and tears, towards the sprawling suburbs: my cottage home.
I fear death no more. It will be quiet and slow. I fear a life here doing this like everyone else.
I spent the last ten, fifteen years seeking Love. I worshipped it, thought I felt it, exuded it like a bursting plum. I loved the loss of love, the torture, the lonely replaced with the second-best passion: heartbreak.
How about this: try to love without calling it Love. The longer I date Daniel and not discuss love, the more I learn about love.
The me of before, a small weighty anchor, would throb, swell, if Daniel told me that he was in love. But the me of now would want more. Love? Empty word.
It's everywhere, loosely told, as if a superlative of like.
What if I believed that Love is nothing? Blasphemous.
Instead I believe in a Best Friend.