Day Before my Birthday


As I walk through this crowded desert, these streets with no end, I imagine that I see you, walking towards me, then in an instant the fantasy is crushed’ the brittle wings of a butterfly trampled underfoot, you are not there ready to greet me–smiling. It is always someone else. Walking home at night I always look up to our window, it is always dark. I leave the light on now in the bedroom, our bedroom so lonely without you. A bed for two now only for one. I reach in the middle of the night still expecting to feel you next to me, but you are gone. I see young couples in the street holding hands, smiling. The trees are flowering.This weekend will be great, I can’t wait to show you what I found. Unfortunately, my goals are empty, my victories hollow. I cook a meal for two, and sit down at my table for two, go to sleep in my bed for two, but there is only one. Until the day I see you. Perhaps I can speed time up, hasten it from its agonizingly slow pace. Loneliness is a comforting friend, calming me at night and allowing me to face the day when the mighty structure is rebuilt, brick by brick. No one can glimpse the hollowness in my eyes, the starving of my soul, the atrophy of my heart. But, at the end of the day, when the city sleeps away, and I approach the darkened window the hollowness returns. My shoulders loosen, sink, crushed by an emotion unseen. Some-where, you are sleeping also. Do you dream of me? Do you turn corners expecting to find me? Have you turned to ask me a question, then noticed that I am gone? Can you find solace in looking up at the night sky, in the same manner that I do, wondering if I am thinking about you under the same night sky somewhere? I can only hope that in this vast and uncertain world, two people feel that bond which unites them like no other, through the distance and the time. Forming one out of two.

My birthday is tomorrow, I will be 25. At some point I remember thinking, writing in my high school journals that I didn’t think I would make it to 25. And here I am now, one day short of living a quarter of a century. Last year, on my birthday my friends threw a huge surprise party in my house during a poetry reading. Where are those people now? I expect very little tomorrow. Maybe my mom will call, Lawrence will come over. Today is my fourth day living alone. Can’t complain. My house is clean…I’ve continued cleaning…the floor is spotless, I’ve scrubbed the bathroom tile until it glimmers, I have fresh flowers in the house, have been cooking nice meals for myself. What can I say, can’t complain. Yet…all those things that I wanted are all still there staring me in the face. I tell myself that it will be only a short while before I get everything I’ve ever wanted, that things will work out, that time away is good, that I need to heal. I walk in my house like a ghost. I have no time to come home, no one to see, no one to watch tv with or talk to, or sleep with. The bed is so large and empty–cold. I feel at peace, somehow…the arguing has ended, a silent peace. I no longer think about whether or not he’s on the phone with her, or look at the clock when it’s four in the morning wondering if he’s in her arms. Those concerns vanished when he left, disappeared, like a mist that lifted with the sun. I wasn’t living…there was nothing there…only a woman in perpetual mourning…crying, plagued and broken by another woman’s unseen presence. Mabelyn was gone for so long…replaced by anguish…pure pain and sorrow, stagnant. Who wants to drink from a stagnant pool? Those U2 lyrics come to mind…the songs we listened to years ago…

“Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it’s all I got
We’re one
But we’re not the same
Well we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can’t be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt”
—One—by U2—

Guess you listened to these songs with other girls too. I feel the loneliness, yet, I feel soothed by it…I can breathe again, feel in control again, like the ball is in my court and I’m still in the game. Why play if you’re not looking to win? Why live if you’re not living? I don’t know…I find myself missing the little things, thinking about the small details and moments when we were happy. When we were together (or rather still living together) I could only think of him thinking about her. Somehow I see the falseness of those thoughts now…the fact that he didn’t leave me to enter into this candy striped, sugar coated, rosy relationship with this other person. I think we will never forget each other, that what we had was real, and it only took some distance to see it. I see it. I don’t know what will happen next, but whatever it is it will be good.

He said that he would call. Hasn’t. But I’m not disturbed by it. When we talk we will talk, simple as that. We have separate lives now, separate paths to follow, perhaps we still have common dreams, but like most dreams…they will be deferred…perhaps for a time…until we either make them happen or create new ones with others that will cross our paths. I am open right now, vulnerable…although the bleeding has stoped and the wound heals. This year is just beginning, and I have just woken up…time to celebrate. Time to rejoice and get my life together, my bills under control, take care of my health. I saw Betty on the ferry on her way to NY. She’s been here for the past 6 days on business. She was headed out to Italy again. She’s great…like a big shining star–happy. I will hopefully visit her in Florence in May…even if I have to squeeze my pennies and get on that plane. I talked to Jose last night. Haven’t spoken to him in so long. He just returned from Barcelona…another one that’s been bitten by the European bug. We’re getting together on Saturday to share our pictures…which reminds me I should upload some of my pictures of Spain (was there last September). I’ve accomplished quite a bit of traveling in the last two years. Hopefully there is more to come.

Lies bring only disillusion. It is no lie that it gets very hot in my office. I will die of heat stroke before my birthday. I’m very proud of J—- who just got a kick-ass job in the dot com industry…You go J! Kudos. I haven’t spoken to Juan or seen any of his Venice pictures.

:( Back a few years ago, when Biblio’s was still open (poetry cafe/ bookstore in downtown Manhattan) I remember hearing a poem that was read by an old man (ring-master for a small traveling circus) and one quote stuck with me…he said, “Life is a toilet bowl, and all you need is a toilet paper roll.” It was very funny, but poignant coming from him. I keep on thinking that there’s only two ways of approaching a situation: 1. the optimistic way “Everything will work out in the end” or 2. the pessimistic way “No matter what you do things will only get worse.” So, being an optimist, I think things will work out.

Much later…

He called, left a message. Made me happy that he remembered. We bounced some one liners back and forth through AIM. Happy…feeling better, I was very sick yesterday. My whole body ached. Work was very productive today. I feel like I can really make a difference.

This website is on the brink of extinction unless I can find a way to finance it. I don’t have the money to keep hosting my domain…and besides I’m quickly growing out of the 30Meg limit. We’ll see what happens.

I have to go for now…will be back tomorrow. I have to run over and give -DF a book I brought for him. OK. See you tomorrow. Bye.