Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The winter flies past in a frozen heartbeat. It seems like you don't write anymore. Your evenings are filled with other things; things that seem inconsequential in isolation but together add up to form the bulk of your life. Going to yoga, talking to boys on the phone, getting halfway through the books you've been meaning to read and then abandoning them in favour of the shortest articles in the Atlantic Monthly and a Nora Ephron collection you've re-read a million times. Better than nothing, you figure.
As usual, spring fever hits early. Sadly, it manifests itself as a literal fever as well, and you spend ten days holed up in your living room, watching high quality television shows interspersed with season six of the Simpsons (arguably the finest season, or at least the one from which you've memorized the most lines), coughing until your lungs fall out, sleeping in long spurts. February's always the hardest month of the year. And somehow you survive it by spending the last half of it completely incapacitated. Not a bad plan, in hindsight.
And now it's March, that month of fickle weather and existential ambivalence. (Yes, yes, all months have that quality to you; no one's arguing with you on that one. We can come back to it later.) The clocks spring forward and you want your hour back. You can tell you're on the mend when you stop sleeping again--insomnia's almost a welcome friend at this point. There's this boy that you like and he's been writing these tiny quasi-memoir-y reviews of songs from the 90s and each one makes you cringe and grin as you learn more about him and think back on your own strange life and uncover more and more parallels between his road and yours. One night while you're talking to him on the phone you wander down to the basement and drag up an old box of your highschool mixtapes. I thought I'd lost these, you muse, thinking to yourself that sometimes things don't reveal themselves till you're really ready for them. (In some other universe this thought applies to something with much more gravitas than a box of mixtapes. That universe is not the one you're meant to inhabit.) You spend a few days listening to them, falling down the rabbit hole. Once more you feel the palpable uncertainty and strange exhilaration of your youth. You remember particular nights and particular roads, hands held and boys kissed and friends departed. There's a story in here, you think to yourself. One story, at least.
There's a lot you could write about, but you don't. Not yet. Usually when you're not writing it's because you're too far inside your own head to find a way out, but this time it feels different. This time it feels like, for the first time in a long time, you're all the way out, opened up and awake and tentatively ready. For what, you're not quite sure. There's a story out here, of that much you are certain. You just have to live through it first.