The Joys of Losing Precious Things

I covet and save
I imbue objects with great meaning
because for me they are physical vessels for My Holies
for the memories and lessons
smells and faces

portals

with that comes
all the incumbent rituals and beliefs
things come and go for reasons
Meant To Be sort of stuff

two summers ago
right about this time actually
(see, Meant To Be stuff)
I was in new york city
having just finished a transformative experience
having just completed the beginning of the journey to here

at the time it was a revelation
it was the pinnacle
I had overcome The Problem
and everything was going to be on track from then on

because it’s that easy…

I was with my childhood best friend
flown halfway across the country
and together she and I took delicious bites out of the big apple

I wandered through the bazar
I wanted so many things
I wanted everything
because I always do
without question without thinking
because it’s all so beautiful
because they all contain so much potential
because they were all perfect
all Meant To Be except
I just didn’t get them

at the last
as we readied to leave
we passed a table of silver jewelry
a bracelet catches my fancy
pulls on my sleeve
and we speak for a while
are you what I want?
do you want me?
will I miss you if you’re gone?
if I never get to know you?

it’s got a seaweed green flat stone
with something like ink splattered throughout
like a baby octopus that got a little too excited

for the next two years I’ll forget and look at it as if it were a watch
for the next two years it informs who I am
reminds me of what I’ve done
when I wear it I’m at my best
I wear it when I’m at my best
it just feels right

I know it’s just a thing
I know there’ll all just things
but they are links
they are vessels
for the events and markers of my life
they hold the essence of me in there
and I tend to cling to these
to rely on them
be defined by them
use them to keep me grounded
ballast

crud
I thought I was being so clever
getting myself out of the house
sitting in a coffee shop
so I didn’t just curl up in bed and cry cry cry
but I think I do need to cry cry cry

because there’s ballast that needs to be offloaded
because I’m in the throes of a growth spurt
because I’m expanding too fast for my frame to handle
too fast to handle with grace in any case

I’ve no fear of breaking
I’ve learnt that’ll be much harder than one might suppose
but nobody said it was easy
you know how hard it can be…

and I’m so thirsty
I can’t stop drinking water
like my body is imposing cleanse time
does everyone else feel like this

we keep asking ourselves
over the past forty-eight hours
how do you feel
how are you
and the answer is

how do you answer that question

we laugh smile leak from our eyes and noses
make promises and stupid jokes to hide
the distance that is inevitable
growing between us
the truth of that very last minute possible magnetism
pulling lips together for that kiss
months in the making mere minutes left to live

what can you say
what do you do
it’s not real
it’s actually incomprehensible at first
it’s actually an impossibility until
suddenly
someone says goodbye
we’re all screaming our goodbye’s from the rooftop
and they don’t know how to walk away
and they mug and we laugh
and just like that
they are gone

for six months? for ever?
and we are all irrevocably different
changing and expanding

so we start to release the ballast
we start to untie the ropes
pulled taut
frayed knots
bows tied for remembrance
so that we can go just a little bit higher
so that we can see just that little bit further
in all directions

when you’re running a race
you don’t slow down in anticipation of the finish line
well, not if you’re planning on getting across first you don’t
we learned to work the same way
all the way to the wall
I remember the week we started to do this

to not slow down in anticipation of the end
this is how we finish our first showing with an audience
our last play time together as a class

we tumble out of the theatre and back to our beloved gym
to the blue mats and tumble traks
and an outdoor tent for when the rain decides to show up to the party
with all the energy and power to match all of ours

new rhythms and patterns break old ones
and when old rhythms and patterns are broken
the world changes big and small
things we do without thinking forget that they need to be done

I touch my wrist and it’s empty
the other one, empty too
and I’m in a car racing back to the theatre
my new york bracelet

oh god help me
the simple silver twist bracelet
a gift for graduating high school
holding the entirety of all
the struggles and triumphs of those rollercoaster years

not at the theatre either

I am one little dutch boy away from a massive flood
except I’m a goof and there
in my jacket are both my bracelets
just where I left them
oh
I’m still whole

we were talking
some of us
about growing pains

about what it was like
(mostly for the vertically gifted amongst us)
to experience extreme growing pains
to experience the sensation of waking up
to discover the body has changed
that it hurts
the bones struggling to support
the muscles stretching to adjust
a hunger deep and ravenous

how just as suddenly
you forget
and the old returns and it’s not this new
and so the next day
all the panic and the pain forgotten
I leave the new york bracelet
somewhere safely buried in a sandy beach
and when I realise this I know
it’s really gone this time
and there ain’t a thing any little hope or prayer is gonna do

I know that this is a Meant To Be moment
that this is my little narrative
that I’ll write about it here
not because I know I haven’t written in a while
despite the horrible feeling I get every time I put something out there
Never To Be Taken Back
but because this is how I do

because I love this more
than I hate the anxiety
or the raw nervousness
the possibility of exposure and ridicule

so here we are
with me seconds away from the moment when
I start weeping in the coffee shop when
in walks a classmate
and it’s all smiles and hugs and
we’ll see each other before I goes and
maybe we wills and maybe we won’ts and
it’s okay
because if nothing else
we’ve learnt how to stay on the balls of our feet
how to unload ballast
run straight to the wall

to expand

and besides
we’re all going to be back next January for round two
and one day I’ll go to the beach and there
peeking out of the sand
will be the nyc bracelet

why not

New York with a Twist

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