This summer was sweet toffee in my hands. Annoyingly sticky but satisfyingly malleable. The reassurance that with just a bit of effort and patience, I could make the season anything I wanted it to be.
I spent last summer drowning. I spent the beginning of this summer comfortably settling at the bottom of the ocean. I ended it beachside. Almost excited at the prospect of sand stuck in places it could never get out of. The idea that what happened one night, would be something I carried with me for weeks on end. Conversations from June still ran laps in my mind by July. I looked up at one sky in July and saw the same stars every time I blinked in August. There was not a day that I spent in isolation. Even by myself, the presence of community still wrapped itself tightly around me. I could count on both hands the amount of days I was completely alone. I wouldn’t even need all the fingers on one hand to tell you how many days I felt lonely. In between hits, my mind drifted back to lyrics my friends sang the week before. Whether in cool showers or at the kitchen sink, I scrubbed and scrubbed and still saw their face. I put one foot in front of the other and it kept leading me back to the same people. The few hours I spent locking myself away under the guise of self care, these were the thoughts that kept me company.
That’s exactly what I did by the way- locked myself away. I bought 2 padlocks, one for the front door and one for the back. 20 feet of rope and A Guide to Tying Knots. Duct tape for my mouth. The strongest glue I could find in case the tape wore out. I scoured the internet for 15 pound weights to wrap around my ankles but turned up empty handed. I locked both doors, grabbed the sturdiest chair I could find, balanced the book on my lap, and went to work.
And still, I woke up the next morning in the arms of two friends.
I realized this summer that this is the kind of love I couldn’t run away from even if I tried to. That I would chew through cable at the sound of someone I cared for crying. That you could bind my feet and I would still walk on my hands to get there. That even with the weights, I would find a way to throw myself down the stairs, crawl down the street and drag myself onto the 63, just to see her face when those bus doors opened. This is the kind of love I couldn’t run away from even if I tried to.