introspective periscope : peeking inside since Y2K


ear-worms live on memories you preserve in your brain

an earworm - 14 july 2019

"hang up and listen/ too tired to talk/ the dirt is settled/ now here comes the aftershock/ i wrote out a list/ of every wolf you cried/ i'll see you someday/ they say the web is worldwide"~ silver bars

i never expect to hear his name anymore. when i do, it is his full first and last name--Toby Pace--and it is nails on a chalkboard screeching halt. what did you say? that name just doesn't belong anymore.

as i thumbed down my instagram feed, i saw her face, her familiar husband's face, her band mates. i have never met her in real life but after all these years, we have a thread that connects us that i never expected to last though all of this time.

she wrote me all those years ago to tell me who she was and that she existed. that she wanted me to know the whole story. it was one of the most volatile times in my life at that point.

more than anything, when he told me it was over--after all those times i immaturely used our relationship as a fucked up bargaining chip--more than anything i remember the feeling of sinking to the floor. of gravity crushing me from the outside and my power to stand was stolen. the air left my lungs and would not return. i don't know how i ever lived through it. it happened repeatedly for months that winter. i would be going about my life actively thinking about anything else i could to avoid thinking of how my life had just crumbled to nothingness. i did it to myself. i did it to us. but wasn't all me, after all, was it? it didn't matter. i was on the floor choking on snot and tears and sobs just as often as i wasn't. i wailed my lamentations until i fell asleep. i read a lot about coping with grief that winter. it took years of careful, protected healing time.

i don't remember the last time i felt like that. nothing ever beat up my guts quite like that. i didn't think i'd live through it. i may have even tried not to live through it in my own ways...but i did. and sometime in the process, i vowed that it would never happen like that again. i would never let anyone that close again.

and truly, i haven't.

i double-tapped the picture of the Silver Bars, smiling as i noted the name of the single for their forthcoming album. i knew immediately. the little red heart lit up. i liked no, i loved it.

because in all those years, i watched her find some happiness. i watched her build a home with a man and get married. i am only tangentially linked to her but we shared a lover between us and i don't know how mangled she was when it was over but i know i was ground into a sausage of 'who will ever love you like that again?s' and 'nobody will ever cherish your body like that again-s' and somehow blocked out that 'my body was his kink' and 'we were too young to make it last, jones be reasonable'.

it was probably pretty easy to get a girl like me to fall in love with anyone then. i was looking for someone to trust, to love me, to make me feel beautiful and loved and sexy and safe. he did those things. he was the first man that made me feel desired, the first man that figured out how to make my body scream out. it was novel. it was sweet. we laughed a lot. it was pretty toxic, too. i own my half of it. i learned a lot about myself in retrospect. it took me years to address most of it. some of that fallout i'll still be sifting through until i'm dead to make any sense of it; futility to think i could ever repair the permanent damage.

and i'm not saying he set out to get me to fall in love with him but i will always wonder what made him love me in the first place and how we went and lost that thing. but i don't miss it anymore, i don't grieve the relationship anymore. i thought i'd never be done with it but sometime years ago that fell away.

i have fallen in love since, sure. and all that love has always been measured by that bar. it was an unfair measure for any man or woman. i cheated myself out of healthier relationships by comparing them. i sold myself short, convinced that everyone will eventually leave...but hey, i've done my share of leaving since then, too, haven't i? i've become stronger than i ever could have imagined.

i got to my car after work and excitedly looked up the link to the song and the video. i played it on repeat for hours, trying to remember anything but that sinking to the floor feeling. he left my smoking wreckage behind and gave a brief repeat performance again in texas...and that's the most of it i bother to entertain anymore.

here i am, now. just like he said i'd be someday when he was telling me he knew my type of man...a pothead beardo who loves dogs driving a station wagon. i mean, he wasn't wrong but that didn't mean i didn't love him despite him not being those things, either. funny, it's only this time around that i wonder if he was worried he was going to lose me as much as i was worried i'd lose him. it's too damned late for me to sit with that thought now, though....what's the productiveness in it? where's the benefit? we were both hungry ghosts.

here i am now, like he predicted: in careful plodding (sometimes complicated by my dumb gaps in confidence) love with a man who loves dogs and flowers and birds and nature. he love his mom and matchbox cars and takes me places where he went with his dad. he has a handsome beard that gets sweaty in summer (and winter when it freezes then thaws) and i don't even care, i still love to kiss him. i love stealing looks at him and the way he looks back at me knowing exactly what i'm thinking. he doesn't drive a station wagon but he keeps his camping and fishing gear in the trunk. i love him so much my heart leaps when he is around and i miss him when he's not here to sleep next to me. the hardest sleeps are the ones right before i see him and right after he goes...but both make me appreciate how happy i am that he is part of my life.

when i played the song again a few times the next morning, it made me think: this is possibly the first time i have been in a relationship i treasure so dearly that i haven't made some comparison to that big broken thing in my 20s. it is wholly it's own beast with it's own challenges and it's own jokes and joy. it has shown me how i've grown, how i can communicate in a healthier way than perhaps i have in my entire life before (a sense i've had more than once in the last few years but that has made it very apparent that i have, finally, learned a lesson or two.)

but maybe there is one's the safety and closeness and love i feel when, at the end of the day, my feet curl up with his and i know that i am where i belong. when he turns over and takes me in his arms and kisses me goodnight, i am home. i felt a kind of home once, i think. this kind of home? this is the kind of home i've hoped for my whole life. this kind of home feels built to last.

maybe it will work out and maybe it won't. i am in love and i am happy and i'm not putting it to a time table. i love the status quo we maintain but i would follow him anywhere, it's true. i have begged partners to tell me stories and open up and share their lives and he does that without me asking. i gush. i don't want to gush.

i listened to the song over and over. i did lose him all that long time ago and losing him meant finding me. it meant leading this bumpy unexpectedly joyful weirdo twisty turny life that i've carved out somehow. i wont lament it. i lost him. she lost him. i think we both found ourselves.

i am jones' gratitude, as ever. i am jones' human-heart feeling feelings and reveling in it. if my robot heart ever needs to compartmentalize again to survive, i know i can do it. there is no question. for now, it's mushy messy human feelings. the twitch of fucking life and i'm gonna live it, for better or worse.

i am, it seems, more invincible and resilient than ever.



.what came before. - .what happened next.

a series of walls - 29th january 2o21
ear-worms live on memories you preserve in your brain - 14 july 2019
606 days - 18 june 2019
a diamond at the bottom of the drain - 20 october 2017
baseball season to football season, abbreviated - 25 september 2017

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