Friday, January 29, 2010

A Slow Fade

There are countdowns taking place all around me. There’s excitement swirling and anxiety bubbling. Every day I hear about the new internship and job applications that were sent to perspective employers in fun new places.

I hate countdowns. I hate rushing. I’ve learned that there is pleasure to be had in today, in the right now. There’s something special about the moment at hand, whether it’s good or awful or lies somewhere in between.

There’s a stillness and quietness settling over me that I like. That I’ll protect. Sometimes it’s peaceful, sometimes it’s torrential, tonight it lies somewhere in between.

I fought my spontaneous urge to get a new piercing last Friday. I stopped into a tattoo and piercing shop in search of a new piece of jewelry, but when they didn't have what I wanted I found myself lingering, longing. 

I have 7 holes in my body; 3 sets of holes in my ears and a nose piercing. 

I remember being among the last of my friends to get my ears pierced. I had to wait until I was 10 for my first set, 16 for my second. The other three holes happened really close together. Both at 19, I believe, or 18 and 19. Honestly I’m not exactly sure.

I remember the spontaneity that overtook me when I got my nose pierced. I’d been thinking about it for a while, doing it wasn’t the spontaneous part, it was doing it on a whim.  

It happened quickly. My sister was supposed to be getting hers done with me, she chickened.

So, I hopped eagerly up on the table as she looked on. The room looked more like a doctor’s office than a tattoo shop. The walls were white and it smelled of rubbing alcohol, the piercing instruments were carefully assembled on a tray in front of me. 

As I lay on the table and waited I wondered what the reaction would be, how much of a fuss my Dad would make, who’d think it was cute, the church folks that would think it was an act of rebellion, what my Grandma would say, all the while knowing those things didn’t matter. I had my reasons.

(By the way, my Dad didn’t notice it- I’m still not sure he knows that my nose is pierced, and my Grandma thought it was cute.)

The next set happened in Tampa, also spontaneous. I drug my friend Akenia and got a set of holes in my upper ear. She was appalled that my second set was done with a piercing gun, so she took me to a place that she knew and I got my upper ears pierced freehand. One skinny man stood with a needle at one ear and one big man stood at the other, the one on my left ear smelled terrible and I was scared of his strength, the one on my right was more gentle and calming.  I can still remember it hurt like hell, but that was ok, because I had my reasons.

I’ve been forgetting things, a lot of things. Which is weird for me because I didn’t used to be forgetful. I used to remember things vividly, because I’m carefully observant. I catch almost everything; facial expressions, vocal inflections, all of the details. But I’m finding that many of my memories, whether great or small, important or unimportant are fading. The details are slipping away.

There are things I remember, because I marked them.

·      the day I realized I was on my own. In high school when there was no one. No one that knew or wanted to know or could handle knowing the rage and pain I was fighting. Alone.

·      the toxic relationship that realization led me to, the one that people questioned and I defended, because all of the sudden there was someone.

·      the day, the hour, the moment that that someone that I’d loved way too hard told me that I wasn’t easy to love and we needed to spend less time together.

·      when I chose to be who and what I wanted instead of what was expected of me

Some of those things were marked with holes, some with words, some in other ways.

I’m scared of forgetting. I’m scared that I won’t have stories to tell. I’m scared that this time in my life, which is more good and in-between than awful is slipping through my fingers. I’m scared that I haven’t made enough memories. That the memories I’ve made will fade, that the details will slip away.

I’ve got to find a way to remember the right now: the rhythm of my fingers dancing over the keyboard, the sleep I’m fighting because I feel so awake on the inside, the fear I’m feeling, which is overshadowed by a brand new sense of freedom. The excitement in the choice I make each new day to believe in myself, in my dreams.

But, there are countdowns taking place all around me.


Post a Comment