I’ve made many a new start in my life, with places, with people; every one was special.
There are, perhaps, times when I wish things were different, or perhaps more familiar. Who doesn’t look back and sigh for the way things used to be? Of course I wish that. But the thing is- and bear with my truism, because it’s a truism for a reason- we can’t go back.
As this beginning ends, then, I won’t look back too much. I’ll think, sometimes, of the days when my brain hinged on my nails piercing the palm of my hand; of the days when I dragged my laughs up from the drainpipe; of spiraling panic and fear and I’mnotgoodenoughfuckpleasehelp. But there were softer days, and there are brighter memories.
There were warm days, when the sky was blue and I did laugh easily and swing with my face up to the sun. There was a smile etched into the corners of my eyes as the Skype call came through. There were softer days. The memories are brighter.
The name means Jane Austen. Austen, love stories, laugh stories, stories, writing, teaching myself to write, Austen teaching me to write. Austen is my first and last goal.
Imagine, if you can, a young woman in a family of ten; educated parents, little money, large library; putting pen to paper and slowly, laboriously, creating out of the little she sees.
The little becomes a lot; the father is kind, the mother is clever.
And then, Bath. The city that fuels her imagination. The city that she writes about, more than ten years later, in tones both rational and achingly tender. A love story for the elderly.
My nails bite into my palm as a lump rises in my throat. Perhaps I’m seeing her city, perhaps I’m seeing another, perhaps I’m still seeing mine.
Tones both rational and tender, a love story. I could. I could.
The writer who fuels my imagination; who’s still teaching me to write, to be, more than ten years later.
Back home, it’s 2018. My best friend’s quiet laugh into the phone rings in the new year five and a half hours early.
How do you pick up the threads of self? I broke my heart to find my self, and in the lowest moments, I wonder just where to turn, and which map to follow.
I fell in love. I fell, I fell, I flew. Then I didn’t so much pull my chute as cut the strings. Goodbye, my bleeding darling, my weeping heart. I hope I find you some day, when I have a self to give and a hand to offer.
I can hear the rain pittering outside. It’s just me tonight: pasta, brownies, rum, and me.
And you, if you’re reading.
Happy New Year (It sounds like my best friend’s laugh. Nothing could be better). Happy New Year.