Today I moved out of the house I shared with a person I have loved for almost five years now. I loved him the first time I saw him which is ridiculous and sneaky—sneaky in that it was there the whole time, and it didn’t matter, didn’t budge when I chose to address it or ignore it or celebrate it or try to analyze it with a high powered microscope from my brain. It was just there.
The last time I loved someone for almost five years, we parted ways on bad terms—-sick and tired of accommodating each other and sick and tired of trying to jam ourselves into some notion of togetherhood while we each tried to find our own paths and also remain somewhat kind to each other at the same time. I was selfish and she was either selfish or mentally ill or just different from me, this last being hard to admit to.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to talk about this here, but it’s my blog, dammit, so I can do what I want. Plus, if this blog is in service of a discussion about creative processes, then what we do outside of our laptops and our composition books matters a great deal.
The man and I cleaned and packed, and cried and laughed. One day I would like us to be together in another house, or an apartment, or a yert, or really any sort of shelter (two warehouses connected by a swinging bridge?) that means I get to see what he’s up to every day and be in his arms again and get excited when I hear his truck pull up and learn new things about him and try not to over-salt his food and ask him one more time to remind me if it’s Roger Federer who he doesn’t really like even though he’s amazing but it’s nice to see him lose once in a while.
We are both tired of mosaic-ing ideas about togetherhood together with bits of learning about being who we are as artists, and, really just people. We are tired of demanding that each other do things and say things to show the other person that they are witnessed and their journey is witnessed and at the same time somehow figure out an equitable way to purchase a rug PLUS a rug mat, (the soft thing that goes under a mat). But what is very different from the last time I loved someone for almost five years is that after all of this sorting and selfishness and demanding and apologizing, I am willing to try anything to keep him in my life,
we are trying
And I am excited and scared and my friends are tired and they all need margaritas because I have been looking to them for so long for advice and to figure out what my love needs instead of just breathing in and out and with my breath and his breath weaving a basket of teamwork that can hold anything we come up with–Together, Apart, Together-Apart, Apart-Together. And my friends should all be at a happy hour because I am unemployed (discounts) and I can get them margaritas or their favorite drinks (but who doesn’t like margaritas? The real kind, not with margarita mix and not very sweet?) because seriously, figuring out how to be a team with someone and trust myself and him and us together has been really difficult for me to realize and it seems to be basically the most important ingredient in love. And so my friends try to plug up the holes and tell me what they hope I want to hear, and finally I think I am starting to realize that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
So I am in New Orleans honestly now, in K’s apartment, reading letters from KT and mom, PB, and eating in a restaurant alone, re-writing what my friend Christianne Sanchez told me in 2003: Follow your joy, (I know about Joseph Campbell, but Christianne authored the phrase in my life) and trying to resist the temptation to take out my laptop to escape alone-ness, and
reading things like The Rumpus Advice Column #64, which my friend J emailed me, about a woman who writes a letter to her younger self. The thing is, when other people break your heart, it’s a collision—a finite happening in time. Sure, it has reverberations that are felt for years, decades, even. But it has a story–an instigator (usually a villian) who you trusted with your breakables and he/she smashed/dropped/threw your breakables (heart) off a roof. So, what I’m saying, is, there’s a memory, a thing, a dot in a timeline known as “heartbreak.” But breaking your own heart feels like a process, not an event. A process of digging something like a time machine from the 3rd grade, but you can’t remember where you buried it, so you upended the doghouse and the addition on your kitchen in order to find the damn thing. And you get a hold of it before you recognize it, and you worry it out of its compacted earth for hours before it gives way.
Irvin Peckham has answered the bonus Nola Studiola question, which is about favorite sounds. Tonight I listen to his blues song series and Django Reinhardt. Tonight I let guitars massage my ears. Thank you, Irv, for a fabulous premier to Nola Studiola’s interview week.
My favorite sound comes from two of my guitars (my Taylor acoustic and my Gibson 355). They make just my favorite, favorite sound. I feel as if they are massaging my ears.
I like the mocking birds in the morning. They are funny. Actually, they make me laugh.