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Saturday, June 12, 2010

I will dream new dreams

I rolled onto your side of the bed last night. It was cold, empty. Why I still think of it as your side of the bed, I don’t know.

This isn’t your bed. You never occupied any side of this bed. Even now I’m looking at the space beside me, the blankets ruffled, the green sheets exposed and I can’t imagine your frame stretched beside me. Your slim body and scabbed up elbows and scarred knees. Your damp pillow.

For 14 years, this was my side and that was your side. Our giant bed with a ridge down the middle identifying two distinct spaces.

And while you’ve never been in this bed--or even this room in my little house--here you are, taking up space. If anything, it is Carter’s side of the bed or Riley’s side of the bed. It’s where they climb in on the mornings that they sleep at my house. Their little bodies, their pointy elbows and sharp knees.

Tonight will be different. I will close my eyes over there. I will sleep on that side. I will begin to dream from a new perspective. I will reclaim that space as my own.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The kite

With so many scenic streets to choose from, I didn’t realize I’d been avoiding Alamo Square.

It wasn’t until a friend wanted to see the San Francisco skyline from that famous hillside that I realized I’d been unconsciously walking along east and west alternatives. While I wanted to offer her a rational reason for skipping the view that day, mentioning a kite trapped in treetop didn’t seem like one such reason.

If I were to go there, no matter how hard I would try to avoid it, I knew I would have to look up to see if the kite was still there, still wrapped in the braches, around the branches. As soon as I thought of its black wingspan, I remembered the first time I saw it so many months ago. That day I wandered the city, trying to be loved by the buildings, the sidewalks, the storefronts, and caf├ęs serving up company in a cup.

Even though it was just a wayward kite stuck in a tree in hilltop park, its presence punctured the ballooned-up emotion I discreetly carry around like a gut filled with gas. That kite is permanently trapped--like me--entangled with the distress of a single day that changed its course. I didn’t want to see it again, still there, still stuck, still dealing with the ramifications of the day the wind was too powerful or its owner was too careless.

While its nylon fabric has likely been brittled by the hours of a hundred sunrises and sunsets, what it meant to me remains solid, intact. My friend and I walked along Hayes Street instead that day. I'm sure I told her that I just didn't have the energy to climb the hill. I didn't tell her it was an emotional one.