lucky and lonely

Didn’t think he was going to catch me being sad but he did.

He said he had been sad too.

We hugged and I knew it wasn’t right but I was lonely and his touch was nice.

I thought about being alone in my apartment and it made me cry.

A lot of things did that today.

Surprising things.

Watching Edward Scissorhands and realizing he reminded me so much of you.

The silliness and the sad eyes and the quiet.

Realizing as the music swelled that I really miss you. So much. And crying some more because of that.

What would I even do if I saw you,

Cry?

It had made you so uncomfortable whenever I did that

But I probably would anyway.

And hug you tightly and thank you for everything.

Thank you for being an incredible loving person

Even if it all freaked you out.

You said the city broke you and I understand why. It’s hard and lonely and constant. But it didn’t break you. Not really.

We just need to superglue ourselves back together somehow.

tipsy mcgee

On a subway home. Not even that tipsy. You’d think I would be.

People in masks everywhere. Seeing people from my old job for the first time since this all started.

A friend who used to recommend plays she’d seen. A year and a half went by and now she has another play rec. I could’ve cried. And somehow none of it feels any different. But all of it is.

What are we supposed to do with all of this. Is it really just a matter of moving forward with things like they were before. I don’t think it is.

But it’s not about being afraid either. It’s figuring out the movement that makes sense for yourself. It’s learning to ground and get clear and hear yourself. Listen to that quiet voice in your head that knows exactly what it needs.

It’s learning how to alchemize the hard emotions. The anger and fear and loneliness. Thoughts that you know are insane even as they speed by and light up anxiety in your stomach.

Feel them all. Deeply and intimately. That’s what’s recommended. Stare at them even though it hurts. Even though it makes you feel like a gross monster. That feeling is proof enough that something is happening.

Then the skies clear and you see someone else going through pain like that. And you soften in your heart because you have a sense of how that may feel. Pain sees pain. And empathy can slowly emerge. And there’s the transformation.

It’s hard to see that when the heavy hits. It can feel like a train slowly rubbing over you. Or imprisoning you. Or suffocating you. But it is possible to move through them. And that can lead to rewards. One moment of connection can melt pain into empathy. And all of that can lead you into the sunlight.

one year later

Being alone in midtown Manhattan during all this has been one of the strangest times of my entire life.

I don’t like to remember how it was at first. How quiet it was outside, except for a siren or a faraway ragged cough. How I tried to talk myself out of feeling sick even when I was awake in the night with chills and dizziness and stuff in my lungs.

How at one point I didn’t know if I would be allowed to leave my house, even to go outside. How I had my birthday by myself, right after 800 people had died in one day.

How loneliness can feel endless, like a constant weight that never lets up.

But it can let up.

I also remember hearing birds. I remember flowers. I remember spring air and rain. I remember the softness in a stranger’s voice on the phone when I told them I was in New York.

I don’t know what kind of lasting effects this all will leave. Mentally or otherwise. But I’m still here.

I went to Ohio in November and stayed for three months. I thought all my plants would be dead when I got back. Miraculously, a couple of them have survived.

One of them is a philodendron with big green leaves. Not only is it still alive, but this morning a tiny green shoot had appeared. The start of new life. Even after all that. Even after I was convinced new life was completely impossible. There it is.

Anyway, happy panda-versary.

feeling by the water

Things tend to unknot themselves on walks.

I kept thinking about a meaningless moment that happened this afternoon. It was one second and meant nothing to anyone else but it dug into my rib and made me feel small the rest of the day.

Taking a walk to the water I realized it had nothing to do with the person who said it. It’s just that I’ve been afraid of being worthless this whole time. This whole weird time where we are only connected through screens and people are losing jobs and I’m feeling familiar pangs from when I lost jobs.

I don’t want to be worthless, so I cling to moments that make me feel shitty and ignore moments where I get a shoutout from the same person.

Walking by the water, the sky was creamy blue-orange-purple with thick clouds have flamed with setting sun. I stood and stared at it. At the rippling water, the buildings across the river, the dot of the faraway Statue of Liberty. People were out. A lot were in masks. When people are in masks they tend not to look you in the eye. I pull mine over my face when I see someone coming. I try to acknowledge them as they approach. I don’t know if I always do. Or even if I often do.

I stood by the water and my stomach knotted and I felt tears. I am so fucking tired of all this.

I’ve been plowing through and trying not to be negative. Maybe you have too. Sad feelings are scary. And you need to at least be neutral to get through this. Or do I’ve felt.

We have all been collectively traumatized by this, and we haven’t had a chance to even begin to process it yet.

Tears are more than okay. Not wanting to talk on another fucking Zoom call is more than okay. Taking a PTO day is more than okay. Going outside when it’s too cold and crying through your mask is more than okay. Admitting you’re scared and incredibly lonely and have been this whole time is also so much more than okay.

We are moving through this. And the feelings have to move through us.

Night One in New York.

Night one in New York City. Center of the universe.
This is a great place to feel depressed. It just kind of swallows you up and hums full of beautiful things and people to look at. 

Bear heads on models and street model girls wearing their hair in bear ears.

I hope one day it hits him like a fucking truck that he misses me. And that he’ll never find someone like me where he is.

Times are shitty, but I’m pretty sure they can’t get worse.