I’m writing this post from my soon-to-be ex-bedroom floor, in middle-of-nowhere Maine. I’m back in Maine now — did I tell you that? It’s not a bad time to be back. It’s my favorite season of all.
Maybe you could remind me? Also, that blueberry season will be next? I should be able to catch the end of it, before I move. I have grand plans to take myself blueberry picking and spend an afternoon sitting cross-legged in a field, plucking everything within reach. I have high hopes — I’ve been doing yoga, and I’m feeling very bendy. Maybe I’ll be able to shake some discipline free, while I’m at it, and save a few fistfuls for later. I’ll make something — something sweet.
At the moment, however, I’m sitting Indian-style on my rug, surrounded by packing boxes. Small, medium, and large. They’re everywhere, these boxes-to-be, but I’m looking at the ones collapsed down by the wings of my knees. I’m thinking it should not be this hard to get them to cooperate.
It might be time for something to eat. Perhaps we should not be attempting to brave box assembly on an empty stomach.
It might be time for a drive, too. I won’t be driving much, from here on out, and I think I might miss it. I’ll go to where the silence isn’t so stilted. To where there is no emptiness to witness, to where there are no echoes to overhear. I’ll go to where every goodbye is chased by a quick and crushing hello.
It’s a sunny summer Sunday — one for the books — and I feel worse. It’s too nice out to be sad. To be sitting in shadow, like something is really wrong. The sky is almost obnoxiously blue; the sun’s practically showing off. It’s the kind of day to put on a dress that makes you feel like the girl you want to be. It’s the kind of day to split an ice cream cone with someone you’re too shy to smile at. It’s designed for these kinds of things, this day.
I don’t do those things. I feel a bead of sweat trickle down my throat and look down to where it pools, in the hollow by the bow on my new bra. I watch a boy watch a girl, her hair glinting in the sun. He scoops the stray strands up off her neck and plants a kiss there, so easy. I look away, caught.
I think about the divorce that’s decided to detonate and the book proposal that’s still stalled. I think about premature celebrations. Fragments I’ve forgotten; can’t remember. Flip-flops that pinch. Sparks I so wish I’d felt. The most glorious gnocchi I ever did try.
I think about fireworks, lighting up the sky. Garlic scapes, climbing high and curling. I think about manicured hands. Still ugly. A hundred mirrors, none of them skinny. I think about kale salad — exactly like every other one I’ve had.
I think about the people I miss, right this minute. (In no special order.)
-I miss my three brothers, busy.
-I miss Posie — Posie who sends postcards and makes a knockout pie to go.
-I miss Martina. Miss Martina, with the most beautiful story I’ve ever heard, buried under that beautiful olive skin and inky black hair.
-I miss Charlotte — crazy creative Charlotte. Charlotte with two new holes in her ears. (She’s still the best listener I’ve ever met.)
-I miss Sarah-from-Milton. I love her for her unflagging optimism and on-point emoji use. She’s good.
-I miss Sarah-who-wants-to-go-to-San-Francisco, Sarah. I hope you go, Sarah! I’ll come visit; we’ll go to Tartine.
-I miss Nelle. God, Nelle. We should have hung out more.
-I miss Marian, with her encouraging emails and endless supply of what to cook now. She’s always making something I like.
-I miss Neala. I miss talking to her. She’s the way I always imagined an older sister would be, minus the shoe stealing.
-I miss Maria, and the way she gets it. She’d tell me the water would love to love my skin, even when it feels two sizes too small.
-I miss Bonnie, just a few blocks away. I feel sure she’d want me to get both chocolate AND vanilla.
-I miss Senja — I haven’t seen her in far too long.
-I miss Margaret. I love who she’s become. I love that we write.
-I miss Joanie — she has the best taste in books. And sometimes she drops them in the mail, for me! She’s as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside, in case you were wondering.
-I miss Bea. She answers every single text, Bea. I would have left NYC six months into my lease, if it hadn’t been for her.
-I miss Rachel. My one and only roommate Rachel, who let me go to sleep at eight pm for a whole year, freshman year. She’s a saint.
-I miss the Rachel who made me feel like I must really like all Rachels. We got to know each other while she baked and I did dishes. She always knew what to say. Plus, she has a puppy. (Hi, Sam!)
-I miss Cameron — Cameron in California. I really need to call her.
-I miss Micaela. Micaela, who reads every single thing I write. I’ve never met anyone so full of life. I hope we’re still sending each other quotes when we’re little old ladies.
-I miss Jess. I miss her tough love, her unwavering support. I miss her on my coast. Thank you for introducing me to avocado — I owe you.
-I miss Meg. Meg who isn’t mine, but gives me her time anyway. She sings like an angel, Meg.
-I miss Emma — Emma who sends no-obligation notes. I love those, Emma.
-I miss Laura. She’s my mom’s friend — I borrow her. She has the biggest heart. Also: the best tattoo.
-I miss Anna. Anna on gchat. What would I have done without you, Anna?
-I miss Elizabeth. Liz. She always put me at ease.
-I miss Kenzi, with her curtain of hair. I miss her at the crack of dawn, with her cup of coffee.
-I miss Bryce. Bryce who wore high heels like I have never seen. Never the same pair twice.
-I miss Lindsay-Jean, who I hardly know. Who I feel like I do. I wish we’d had time, Lindsay-Jean.
-I miss Tess. She makes an excellent Pad Thai, Tess. She likes my maple cake, and I like her.
-I miss Rozanne, who never told me to go home and look her up on Google. I miss Rozanne, who sat with me for four hours and said sweetie, you are a writer. Fifteen minutes in.
-I miss all of the people I never met, but always wanted to. I miss all of the cake we never shared.