Here is a story from day 67, from my journal:
Tonight I was just standing on the Broadway Bridge. I was so high above the water. I turned around me and saw the sun setting the clouds on fire. I thought about all the beautiful things I had seen today. I thought about the ocean stretching out around me, waves licking the shore. I thought about the sky upside down. I thought about the burning clouds. I was standing there. I imagined just climbing the railing, letting myself fall off the bridge backwards. Not suicide but the freedom of being only on air, if only for a few seconds.
I imagined surfacing for oxygen. The current taking me, climbing out wet and the walk I would take back to my bike. I took a cell phone picture and sent it to Steele. I said, ‘I wish you were standing here with me.’ I decided that I would stand on the bridges whenever I was upset–the closest I can come to standing on air.
I got on my bike and rode down, then up, to Powell’s. And as I was walking up the steps to the Purple room, a girl glanced at the side braid hanging down the front of my shirt. I thought about this hair. I grow this hair, I buy this book, I scribble these words. I build up this person. I live inside this head. I make choice after choice, decide things, form opinions. I build this identity. But if you strip me raw, who am I? If you take everything away. My hair. My books. My camera. This pen, my words. Who am I? Who makes this, who decided this. How unthinkable, how impossible, to be sitting in this room with these strangers. To be so known, but to be such a stranger to them. We’re all really the center of our own universes.
August 19, 2012
Here is something from my journal from day 66:
I hate that I’l forget all the details of the past few days, the past few months, the last few years, my life. They’ll slip though my fingers. I wish I could pluck every beautiful, heartbroken, angry, wonderful moment like a jewel and put it in a box. I wish I could bottle the feeling of sitting by this gem of a river, this city filled with sparking lights, under this fading blue sky. Music pounding in my ears, my skirt flared out around me in a circle, my boots scruffed, my pen scribbling. I want to drink that potion later. I love, I love that I can be sitting on my couch, watching One Tree Hill, and begin to be filled with that feeling of unease, restlessness, disappointment. That I can feel those things and then, immediately, get on my bike and fly down the street and leave that girl behind on her couch. That in a few seconds, I can become this woman who has frizzy hair flying behind her, a bright yellow skirt falling around her bike seat, cutting in front of cars and racing to make it through yellow lights. I have the ability to give myself wings, and I hope I never forget that, at the very least.
August 18, 2012