I had a weird thing happen to me yesterday. I hooked up with this guy, just strictly a very casual thing, but he's a nice guy, and so hanging out with him was naturally very sweet and affectionate, and it all sort of happened as easily as it could have - there was none of the "does he like me?" or "what's going on here" tension that I've been flooded with this past year. I mean, there was a little, because there should always be a little, but only for an hour or two when we first met, and then everything was very obvious and mutually acknowledged. It was, one could argue (especially any "one" that read that post a few days ago when I was in the thrall of disappointment), exactly what I needed. Wilmington, and maybe North Carolina as a whole, has this spell where it does that - it waits exactly until you've hit rock bottom needing or wanting something, and then it drops it in your lap. You just have to stick out the desperation. Ran out of my savings - needed a job - came down to 2 dollars in my bank account and the next day got a job at a place that gives you free food. Couldn't afford my apartment, was going to be homeless sleeping on my friends' couches - Teresa and Steve suddenly need to get a place too. Fallen deep into the self-loathing hole of rejection and vanity - meet some nice guy who doesn't tell you that you're so smart or confident, but instead tells you how sexy and pretty you are. North Carolina's versions of miracles - or maybe this is how homeless people live.
So this morning I should have been in a good mood. But as soon as I got to work, as soon as, in fact, my fingers wrapped around the little pink rock I've been keeping in my pocket as a worry stone, I felt this terrible melancholy sit on my chest. I couldn't shake it, it got heavier and heavier. I was just flooded with this sense of focus-less guilt and shame and mostly missing - it was as if my psyche, once it was away from the nice, comforting petting, became irrational aware of the hole of being in love. I mean, I'm always a little in love, with something or someone or everything and everyone - I'm one of those plastic molds they poured love into when they were making the diorama, and I've just been slowly melting in other people's heat since. And like, my head finally fell off or something, just another thing broke inside. I was inexplicably distraught. I think I may be addicted to touch. I think once I get it, I become a junkie, and the withdrawal is that much worse. One heavy petting and I'm off like a powder keg, I explode in affection, and then for another six months I'm depleted and raw.
It reminded me, no wait, it was exactly the same feeling I used to get when Sean and I would break up and not see each other for a few months, before running into each other out, and then right back into the habit of being in love.
Then, of course, it got really busy at work, and I got really stressed out (which is dumb, because even the most stressful day at the co-op isn't really stressful at all). I have a button on my apron at work that I write different sayings on each week and this week it was " Sincerity is Underrated". It's been good for reminding me, and customers, to talk to each other like people who see each other every day, rather than just cashier and customer - I've learned lots of interesting things about people, especially older ladies who could be my mom, my mom is exactly the sort of lady who will respond to that sort of thing thoughtfully, and so I guess it makes sense her daughter wrote it in black sharpie to wear on her work apron, like David used to write on white t-shirts to wear to shows. A guy I have a crush on - a really smart guy I always feel the need to impress, and probably fail at miserably every time - came in, and he asked me how I was doing and I actually told him. I mean, I didn't tell him the boy stuff, but I told him about school, and life, and how I felt off kilter with my whole life at the moment, like Jere's visit had shaken all the silt in me around, and at the moment I just felt muddy and unclear. And he told me about work stress, and then at some point we talked about rainwater reservoirs being water jugs for huge animals, like if there was giraffe rescue, like how much better my life would be if I could just drive by the giraffe rescue and see their heads poking up among the pine trees. Because sincerity is underrated. And then another boy, a friend of mine, came in, and he was on the phone the whole time he was in the store, but as he was leaving we gave each other a huge long hug, and see, sincerity is underrated. Then I realized I was dehydrated, drank a large glass of water, and eventually felt better.
That picture up there is from a battlefield around here. It was the first place I walked around and really felt the blood in the sand. There's a church there, or the ruins of a church, and on the older plaque inside the church, it talks about how the settlers of the fort tried to save up for ages to build the church, tried a lottery and everything. But then one night, a Spanish galleon crashed on the coast, and the villagers took the loot that washed up, sold it, and were able to afford the church. Cute, right? Only later on as you're walking through the ruins of the fort, there's another more modern plaque, the kind Park Services builds under pavilions, and that plaque pointed out that the "cargo" which had washed up on shore during the storm, was actually a boatload of slaves. So basically the slaves that managed to escape the sinking ship, and survive to swim to shore in the cold Atlantic during a storm, were then captured by settlers and sold off, and then they built that church, and I swear I've never stood in a building I wanted to see completely torn down and disintegrated as much as that one.
So yeah, you can smell blood everywhere in that place, dead bodies everywhere. The trees have drank off it, the vines have grown through it, the little tiny sand crabs have eaten it. That's why everything in this place is so predatory, it's because we gave it a taste.
But I correlate the way that place made me feel, and the way I felt today, standing at the counter with my homemade life sayings pins, ringing up almond butter and gluten free cake, knowing how ready I was to be in love again. Not with that guy. Not with any guy I know. But with someone. It's like, you can feel the past destruction, the past loves, the past murders, and the sense of the impending long slow march pools at your feet and tries to suck you into the bloody sand, but you know this is just how this place is now. This is just how you are now. You can't unkill soldiers, and you can't unlove love.