(written a year ago, today)
It’s such an odd sensation to look back at my life thus far and see with absolute clarity why certain phrases, words, movie moments, lyrics resonated in me so hard they shook me to my core before I had any idea or context of what they would end up meaning to me.
I am not sure if I am ready for This, but This is really wants out, so I will let it.
My memory is such an odd thing. I have a vivid recollection of the first time I saw The Color Purple. October 16th 1986. Baby Jessica had just been freed from the well in Texas and it was the first thing we watched besides the news in 2 days. I was in the basement with my Aunt Bunny, she was knitting rainbow mittens. My mother voiced concern over the content and I remember glowing when my aunt said I could handle it. Although, 5 minutes in, I wasn’t sure I could, but I did.
I remember the first time I fell in love. September 6th1988. 2:18, Mr. Thompson’s math class. He was late, Michael, not Mr. Thompson. The door opened and I heard him before I saw him, I looked up so fast it hurt a bit. The definition that fits is a lightning strike at close range, say from 3 desks away. A flash so bright a new spectrum of colours presents itself and dulls the brightest rainbow, a boom so loud you can see it, electricity that flows into you altering your bones and marrow and you become suddenly MORE. My heart grew 16 sizes that day, and I gave half of it away. I had no choice.
This is the moment where the English language becomes inadequate. I want as many words for love as the Inuit have for snow. Fluffy love, wet love, slushy love, little hard balls of love, movie love (which is actually potato flakes, so not real at all), hard packed love that you can build a house out of, love that swirls and whirls and blocks out the sun and leaves a carpet of diamonds when the howling stops. Ya, those last two almost fit.
Instantaneous and unconditional acceptance and adoration for everything this boy ever was and ever will be. Soul recognition as soon as he looked me in the eye. Now put that weight on two 14 year olds and see what happens. In the movie that is my life we are both now 40, with children by other people, separated by geography and his wife who was not even born when we met.
Hardly seems fair does it. Imagine someone sitting you down in your young life, presenting you with a piece of cake and saying “this is the most delicious thing you will ever taste, you are 1/6th of the way through, so um…good luck with the rest of your life honey”. I have spent my adult life pinballing through 4 stages of grief and I finally know the peace that is acceptance. This is not a burden, it’s a gift to love like this and to have it returned. I haven’t stopped eating. I still love, as much as I can, and considering what I know is possible…it’s a lot, too much sometimes.
Today’s full circle heart punch is brought to you by a contemplated suicide and the phone call that saved my life. and Sophia’s speech from The Color Purple wherein she says “I saw you, and I know there is a god…and I knew one day I was going to get to come home”. I was 12 when I first watched that movie. I was 14 when I met him and I was 35 when I had nothing and no one. I went to get a glass of water to wash down the pills I stashed. The phone rang, I picked it up, and there he was. My Nephilim, the voice of my one true god, aka the boy from math class, my definition of home.
At the time I hadn’t spoken to him in 5 years. It took another 5 to thank him for what he did and it might be 5 years before I hear his voice again.
This is the well from which I draw my strength and patience. The only way to really thank him, love him and honour him is to keep living and love myself as much as he does, which is all and always.