Monday, Jan. 28, 2019 @ 4:07 am
Day two. Up before sunrise with my Dad. I make a pot of tea, then we pack our ski gear in the car and drive up the mountain.
Surviving in this the city requires living at the ends of the bell curve. Think about the time that you'd naturally want to go do something, and then subtract two hours.
Fourth car in the lot. His friend sits in the third car. We join him and sit and talk, waiting for the hill to open, the windows slowly fogging over.
They take off ahead of me to start skiing up the hill to the better snow while I stand in line for my pass. I follow soon after, following their lone tracks carved into the pristine corduroy.
I come to the steep part. I steady myself and lean into the hill. And then something starts to happen, low within my belly. A deep clenching ache, so intense that my heart rate quickens and my vision narrows. I stop and lean over, head between my knees. Breathing out the pain. I do quick math in my head. It's too early for this. But it feels like my period.
I work it through with my breath, and by the time I've climbed the hill and rested again at the top, the clenching subsides.
When I was packing to leave, he went into the basement and rummaged through the boxes still unpacked from the last move. He emerged with a book in his hand, the one that I made for him for his birthday in our tenth year.
"Take this with you. Read it. This is the nicest thing that anyone ever made for me."
He slides it into my bag and zips it closed.
I think about removing it before I leave. I am close to my max baggage weight on the light airplane. I sacrificed things to comply with the rules. I can think of other things that I would bring for the 200g of this book.
When I made the book, I struggled. I never told him this. I envisioned this book and started writing it and compiling photos... And then we had a big thing. A fight? I can't call them that anymore. I never faught back. A disagreement? I don't think I ever disagreed. A thing where he yelled at me and I cried. So the thing happened, and I forced myself to finish the book. It was aspirational; I don't like to call it a lie. I hoped and wanted things to be better. So I wrote a book about us that was my dream for what I truly wanted, but what we didn't actually have.
He hoped I'd read the book and recall the good times and the feelings that I wrote for him. When I see the book, I see the truth that I could not see then. When I see the book, I vow to never lie to myself again.
I take a break while Dad does another lap around the lake. I sprawl in the sun on the snow like a marmot. I banter with the men who pause at the intersection, tall fit men who are probably executive something or others, in their fancy skate setups. If this is what flirting is like as ME, then I am hopeful. I feel brave.
I lay awake at night. Trying to not think. I don't need to think yet, just feel, but it's difficult to not slide into deliberations.
I can't settle. I listen to music. I meditate. I change pillows. I finally fall asleep, and then an hour later I wake in a cold sweat. The same deep gripping ache as on the hill.
I go into the bathroom and find that my body has crashed, hormones responding perfectly to intense stress. I admire the intelligence of nature. I welcome the metaphor of starting a new cycle. Starting anew.
Day two, and I did not cry.