After a nearly two month hiatus, it seemed only appropriate to begin the new year’s writing with a reflection on my recent trip out East. I drafted several several chunks of pretty prose, painting pictures and preening over perfect plans and perfect places. 5 drafted, none published. Re-reading each of them sounded tinny, hollow, lacking the luster deserved. I’ve found myself two nights in a row now sitting without words to craft. Even over the phone to my closest friends, I’m not sure what to say without laundry-listing, and even my staple outline-rundown-of-the-spiritual-and-soulful-status-of-self seems impossible.
It’s not that the laundry list isn’t fantastic – it is. Sleepless nights and contacts kept in shot glasses, saunas and jazz hot enough to melt anything and everything, latenight roomservice chicken fingers and pillowtop mattresses, mummies, Monet and a magnum of champagne, ashes hung from the ceiling and needles falling from trees and onto the grooves of some fabulous vinyl, chocolate and cherries and games played again and again, one round farther every time.
Every trip like this has its list, scribbled somewhere secret and without eloquence – so unusual to me and so usual to this. So too is the comedown a usual event. Affectionately referred to as the seven days grace, I have a scheduled routine for the seven days following my epic Eastern adventures, detailed partially for my own masochism/amusement and the aid of other individuals who may be subjected to my sorry self in said time frame. Euphoria comes first and is followed immediately by disconnectedness. From there comes lethargy, self-pity, and complete and aggressive rejection of everything rational and conventional. In the end I burn myself out with my own fire, spend the final day as ashes, and return to my normal smiling self on the eighth day. But not this time. Save one night spent burrowed beneath the brown bear embroidered with my name, one hand holding heart in chest and the other resting on a bone white hip, I’ve been fairly contented. Day three, today, should be despondence and the general inability to do much more than slouch pathetically, wallowing in my own dramatis personae.
But on the contrary, if anything I’ve felt energized. I’ve been sitting up straight, singing loudly, and carrying myself with confidence and charisma. The mundane nuisances of class and work seem to have little effect on my mood, and I even find myself considering how what I am doing may be useful in the future. And for once my plans are coming out of calm, not out of fear. Normally, I plan as a means of control – a compulsion. Plans are power and escape routes and the assurance that one day I will be happy no matter how miserable I am today. But though my plans now are big, I’m not afraid of what’s in store for tomorrow. I’m planning because I can’t wait to create a new life for myself and it’s so close I can taste it. And maybe it will look like one of the pretty pictures I painted on this voyage or another, or maybe it won’t. But knowing I’ve got good things (and more importantly, good people) in my life now, and that very soon I’ll be living a life a life that’s completely my own is enough to make me glow.
I’ve only got the sunny hours, brightest hours of day
I never count the gloomy hours, I let them slip away
And I realize I’m away
Let the lovin’, let the lovin’ come back to me -LBDAS