I’ve been digging through my archives again.
The following is a diary entry from January 8th, 2007. I was 19 years old.
This weekend, I told someone that I want to spend the rest of my life with him, that I want to bear his children, to wait until he gets home from work at all hours of the night, to see just how much he looks like his father thirty years from now. That I would leave school and move to some new city, that I would work, that I would stay at home, that I would do whatever love asked. But love did not ask. Love, in fact, would rather I did not. And love isn’t so much love as novelty, some memories, a skilled body and a few clever words. And yet I was once the knife that split apart his chest, left him with the breeze from the window in his veins. Perhaps again. Perhaps.
There is a church, abandoned, on the street where I live. I have mentioned it before; it haunts me. On one side, cut stone words pronounce:
DIVINE LOVE ALWAYS HAS MET AND ALWAYS WILL MEET EVERY HUMAN NEED.
On the other, ivy had covered the words, rendered them unreadable. I showed him, turned his crater lake eyes on the leaves, and we said, one day, one night, we would tear the ivy down and see.
The winter has killed the ivy. A strange cross-hatching of dead twigs is all that remains. And today, alone, I stared. I stared until the words were clear through the remnants.
COME UNTO ME ALL THAT LABOR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN– I WILL GIVE YOU REST.
I stood a moment longer with the mud and the graffitti and the broken glass, and as I walked away I called him and gave him my dead twig translation. But he was not there. I had his voice, but not his hand.
Independence is so very disappointing.
Today, now, I remember standing at the ivy, and not the conversation with the man. The church, I believe, still stands, but I have not gone to see it in many years, although the whim has struck me. The man I have not seen in many years, and in a good deal of those years the whim has not struck me. I have caught myself a goodly number of other foolish idols since. I have rent my heart on other wooden porches, made a few more men sick with misheard words.
Times and names and blinking eyes are ever-changing; longing remains the same.