You’re here looking for answers. Or, you’re here knowing you’ll guffaw at the ones offered to you like they’re tiny golden gifts from the stars and not overwritten, under-developed fortune cookies. But you’re here anyway. You like being here. You like being anywhere.
You’ll go somewhere, or anywhere, and you’ll meet someone, at the plant store or at a bar or at a friend’s housewarming party, and you’ll think, “Oh, it’s you.” Right away, you won’t think that. You’ll probably think, “Do I know you?” and then, as they ask the right questions and answer ones you didn’t mean to pose out loud, you’ll think, “I guess so.” Or, actually, you’ll think, “Not at all,” but you’ll yearn to. And then you’ll go home, and you’ll wonder if that’s what you really want, or if it was just the freesias or the tequila sodas or the buzz of the laughter in the tepid summer air after months inside, alone, unstimulated. You’ll think both. You’ll think it all. And it will all be true.
You’ll start a new project— knitting or watercolor or poetry and you’ll forget, almost immediately, that you never knew how to do it before. You’ll spend hours researching the best tools of the trade and only seconds making impulse purchases after adding them all to your cart, your heart fluttering with anticipation and something else- hope, maybe? And that hope will bubble as you cross your first stitch or dullen your first red or add a period to your last stanza, and you will know you’ve found something profound here, now, with this, and you’ll be so proud of yourself for trying, and you’ll be certain that you’ve cracked a code: success doesn’t mean being good, it means doing your best. You’ll wake up tomorrow and do it again, only this time, your flutters are more like breezes, manmade, like from an oscillating fan and not of the sky or the ground or even the sea anymore, but they’re there. You’ll wake up tomorrow and they’ll be flickers, like when a door closes across the room and the air hits you seconds after. It’ll still be enough to make your hair move, but only slightly, and it’ll take a bit longer to get there. You’ll wake up one day, and it’ll be stagnant. You’ll be sweating. You’ll be thirsty. And that’s when you’ll move onto something else, like mixology, and you’ll make and you’ll drink and you’ll be sated, at least for the day, and no matter what, even still, your painting will hang in the corner of your apartment that once felt too shadowed to put up even a poster, but with that dull red over there, it actually looks really good. Better than you’d ever thought.
You’ll call your mom, or your partner, or your sister, or your best friend, or all of them in one afternoon as you walk around, not going anywhere, not aiming for anything, not even sure who will pick up, but not necessarily caring. You’ll talk to each of them as you pass the fancy ice cream shop, that pet store you visited despite being petless, the place your bike got stolen, your work wife’s stoop. You’ll say things like, “I don’t know how to say this, but I just feel…” and “Maybe this doesn’t make sense, but…” and you’ll hear things back, lots of things, things that will make you roll your eyes and ones that will make your heart twinge, and then you’ll say, eventually, after you’ve passed the park where you went on your last first date or the grocery store you go to when you’re feeling lazy, “Okay, well I should get going,” even though you have been going, even though all you ever are is going. And you’ll hang up and you’ll think about what you said and you’ll still wonder if you said what you meant and you’ll still be unsure of whether you made sense, but you’ll pick your phone right back up and dial another number.
And they’ll answer. You’ll get answers. And you’ll decide whether they feel, that day, like hope, or whether they feel like delusion, and whether you can tell the difference, and whether you even care at all, in the end.
And either way, you’ll just keep walking. Going anywhere. Your favorite place to be.
About the author
Tina is a queer writer in Brooklyn, who uses Google mostly to image search 45-year-old women in suits, and Twitter mostly to report on her findings. She has a deep obsession with narrative, a CAROL tattoo, and, relatedly, a degree in film.