Dragging the black sweater through the water in the bathroom sink, the coldness comes into my bones. I do not like this kind of living. I do not know where I will be tonight. I have a vague indication. I have a suitcase. I have a book I feel will never be finished. I have a feeling like I will never be full.
Just go west, he said.
I have dragged myself through three states. I have passed places I wrote into poems. One house they are re-building in Homer. One strip club in West Virginia has closed, green branches blooming from the windows, weeds sprung up inside, stretching the building from within.
My old friend leaned over the park bench and talked about yoga, talked about enjoying right now, this moment, because you will never have this moment again. I don’t know how long it has been since I’ve seen him, a year, two years. Once we were the first people we met in college, in an early morning English class. Once we snuck onto the roof.
We sat in the shade in Victorian Village. Concrete snagged our jeans. We watched dogs run without their owners.
If you don’t enjoy washing the teapot, you won’t enjoy drinking the tea, he said. If you don't enjoy the present, what makes you think you will love the future?
So yesterday, driving home from the garden center, preparing for a party like Mrs. Dalloway, friends in the front seat, friend in the back, the back of the van canopied with plants, the giant basket building behind us, I forgot myself, forgot my story, forgot my love, forgot my missing, made my old friends laugh, and for a moment, I was happy.
He kissed the top of my head, and I forgot, like an angel had told me everything then touched my lip.
Send me back into the world again, and I will try harder this time.