Monday, March 13, 2006


Do you go away to lose yourself?

I don't. I went away to Texas. I found myself in pain, near constant, but often forgetting, warm and dry. My legs hurt. Now also my arms, the tips of my fingers turning numb. Maybe your blood is thickening, my friend says who is ally, lovely, bringer of wine bottles, conspirator of late night room service with extra pickles and fries, all I want to be and love best when she was scrunched on a pillow saying,
We are strong, beautiful girly girls who have long hair and like shiny things.

It hurts to stand. It hurts to walk, breathe, sit, type, cross my legs, and sleep. Especially to sleep. I am tired and sick of being the funny one. But I have long hair. I like shiny things. Everyone I met I loved. Everyone I did not meet I loved. Charlie, don't burn those pictures of me.

In the hotel, I escaped.

Specifically, from a stranger who said, would you like to go to a party?

I, being wined, said yes. We walked down the hall. We were joined by two more men, one very tall, one very short, one medium, indistinct. They thought I was drunker than I was. We went in the elevator. We went up then down the hall of rooms. Then into a room which held nothing: beer-smell and a bed.

I have to call my friends, I said.
Yes, call your friends, they said. Are they beautiful?

I closed the door. I took off my shoes and ran down the hall. I beat beat beat on the elevator button.

We are strong, beautiful girls. We have long hair and like shiny things.

I escaped the bed and the three men. But more than that, I escaped all men at once, the ones that understood me and the ones that did not. Come visit us this summer, my lovely friends said, now that you are unfettered.

I am unfettered. I am untied, but not loose, not wildly flapping. Well, I was.

I've decided. I will spend the next two months not drinking, not dating. You said you're the happiest you've ever been here, Gilbert Blythe said when he let me go.

But I said no. I was happiest at seventeen, eighteen--my first year of college when I had friends but no boyfriends, a job to do, rehearsal, papers, the library, the literary journal, the coffeehouse where I would stay sometimes until four a.m on a mismatched couch, a mismatched couch, overalls, long hair, novels, time. My best friend was in love with me but I would not let him in for years.

I want to be alone again. I will embrace it. No, I want to be with my friends, paint, decoupage, play the piano and sing like I did for the first time in a year early early in the morning in a high corner of the hotel with my friends around me, and in the black lacquered mirror of the piano, I saw someone new.

I want to publish my novel. I want to publish a book of essays, and keep seeing the little ones in the world (good news coming soon!), and write songs and sing them.

We are strong, beautiful girly girls who have long hair and like shiny things, and you may be in love with me but you will have to wait, you whoever you are. I'm going back.