Twenty Minutes Straight

How was work and what’s for dinner — would you mind if we skipped those, saved them for another night?


I wonder how long it has been since you last slipped into somebody’s arms. I wonder if you went without thinking, if your arms seemed to open of their own accord, if you were surprised to see your chin knew just where to land.

I wonder whether you were saying hello or goodbye, and whether or not you let yourself linger there, cocooned momentarily close. I wonder whether you pulled away quickly, more quickly than you’d intended, embarrassed. Sure your feelings were already etched all over your face. Hold me. Could you just keep holding me, exactly the way you were? 20 minutes straight ought to do it.


It is hard not to want. Hard not to be too happy, or too hopeful.

But I am both. Happy and hopeful, even if I wind up being disappointed. I am months and months away from the girl last loosely held by her mom, crying too. Miles and miles away from feeling hands go bump-bump-bump, up and down the bones of my back.


I’ve stopped writing “stuck” in my journal. Stuck. Stuck. Still stuck. Stuck, Day 30. Stuck, Day 60. Stuck, Day 90.

I don’t feel stuck anymore. I do feel slightly unglued. Who IS this woman out on a Wednesday night? Who is this woman asking for a raise? Who is this woman calling a cab? Who is this woman off to meet somebody she doesn’t know? Who is this woman booking a full-body massage? Who is this woman rooting around for hot pink lace? Who is this woman — so quick to smile, so easy to laugh.


It’s happening: the shift everyone promised would come. Whole weeks go by in which I forget to dwell on what I look like, what I’ve eaten, and what I did for exercise. Whole weeks go by in which I worry about only “normal” things. To text or not to text, to call or not to call, that kind of thing. Stuff that makes me laugh a little, as I catch myself circling back and starting to overanalyze.

“I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.” -Laurie Halse Anderson

{Columbia River Gorge Historic Highway via @nicholaspeterwilson, sunset via @calsnape, PNW road via @steveaarts, Mt. Hood via @kyle.pnw — all on Instagram.}


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