Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Crying is hard

I go for a long time without feeling and it's not like forgetting to take a shower where the requirement to look after oneself becomes overwhelming, we get to escape ourselves endlessly.

I hide.

Everything is a waste of time, something to validate your living experience falling down the shute to death. Some of us get it sooner, some of us seem to never die but go on without getting tired while our bodies secretly store the loss in places we can't see.

The linoleum floor was emaculately polished and shiny reflecting the soulless flourescents overhead hidden in their plastic recesses replaced once every eight hundred deaths. I stared at my shoes and shifted in the seat, a seat made for short term occupation sometimes forced to endure longer compression as people moulded to the hospital timeframe in best ways they know or unthinkingly don't know how.

The coke machine provided the only color in the waiting room, the deep red softening into a pinkish hue reflected from the sterilized floor. The rest of the room was a poor grain black and white film, three other strangers, some of them together, I don't care shared their own individual relationships with plastic chairs identical yet somehow never meant to comfort.

I usually didn't feel.

Her laughter was still echoing in the back room of my short term memory, the feeling still struggling to hold onto the trappings of before with her posture perfect and her hands and ten and two on the wheel, her hair in a pony tail, her concentration breaking from the road to me and our blended moments. I never left the scene in the car somewhere in my conciousness, I'm still there looking at her.

Thump thump thump, Estella really made it work where everything else failed.

Euphoria was her product and she gave it to me, starting from the first time she interrupted me on the beach in Mexico until, until the last joke that seems to have frozen my feelings for a lot of my waking hours. Feelings frozen don't return the same from the investment but meerly grant to elusive promise of another rendition of her adding to me just exactly the way that I can't do myself.

My days working gave me a superficial buzz of progression. Sometimes those days had peaks, like one moment when a take finished and as he was walking off I got a side glance and the look from Dennis Hopper that was probably just an acid flashback or maybe hopefully a telepathic "you got it kid" emanation. Those moments end, a burnt offering to time and faded, yet that last joke with Estella just will never go away.

Crying is good for the soul, but I don't do it anymore.

It was the dead of night and my three strangers held individual pensiveness and an unsteady desperation to get the bad news over with so we could at least know. I had been in the room for three hours, I don't remember pacing but I know I did.

I see the contours of her cheekbones derived from cooking different European genetics and the gypsy, or maybe spirit from a new place. I confuse the memory with her dancing in the shadows around a ten foot bonfire on a distant beach where it doesn't matter to anyone but me that I know the exact pattern of the wrap she wore over her little blue biknini and the way her hair flowed around her trapping my pathetic heart before she really even wanted to try.

The bruise on my forehead and the cut on my chin were swelled but I could have been back there on the beach wearing almost nothing perfectly healthy and intact wondering what she'd say next in her accented fascination.

She always had the cutting revelation, even the repeats made new sense.

I felt better that I didn't get the job in Toronto, better because she made me accept responsiblity for my success and failures. Estella opened the door on my limitations and proved to me that I was in control of my motion through life. We laced our love and companionship with laughter and extreme emotions and role play and fantasy.

"You know I could tell your brother's cat was Mexican", my comment was pointed to get her attention from whatever it was she was thinking, explaining, or mimicking on the car radio.

She looked over and pursed her lips, her left eye was slightly bigger than her right but I didn't care.

"How does a silly little man from Indiana get this birth information from the world of cats?"

I loved her insulting me.

"Trial and error"

She changed up gears, the muscles in her thighs clearly flexed and defined as her skinny legs activated the clutch.

"You tested Joey's cat?"

"Test, torture, same thing"

"How?"

I broke her gaze and let her return to concentrating on driving.

"I did a series of freefall experiments, every time I dropped him he always landed on his head"

At that moment her laugh filled the car, and that permanent record in my memory. That's the first thing I remember about that time. The second is the sound of metal tearing and glass shattering or cracking, and then a blunt trauma as the airbag knocked me out.

I felt heat from the pink reflection of the Coke machine, which was impossible. As the glass door opened three other people held their breath. They all looked up and then quickly sighed and returned to their silent anticipation. The man in green, a doctor I recognized from the urgent end of a hazy ambulance ride. He had a look of anguish on his face and dead but moist eyes, I knew from his slumped body language that he was tired and had bad news.

That last laughter was the strongest connection to Estella that I would ever have again. She did not come back from being wheeled into the emergency room, into surgery, did not come back from her trail of blood, I was less than I was before I'd been interrupted by her on the beach and taken prisoner.

I didn't sit, but as the doctor's hand fell from my shoulder I stood staring at the television in the other room through a glass partition. The television like my muffled tortured grief stricken soul was silent in the moment, the sound heard elsewhere, somewhere, anywhere but here.

The glass door slid open again, and my three companions repeated their urgent seeking with their faces as they looked up. It was not a doctor, it was dark and tall figure unusually dressed shabbily quite out of place in his own clothes, Estella's father. He entered the room and looked up at me, her eyes were alive in him and for a moment I was terrified of him.

The terror passed as I saw the fear come back at me in spades. His tear struck eyes pleaded with me in the passing seconds to reassure him but for what I know all he got back in return were my own imparting of emotion breaking it down in no uncertain terms that today was our day of loss and nothing was going to be easy.

He cross the room and wrapped me in his arms and with his head pressed firmly against my neck I could feel the heat of his body transfer to me. He squeezed me tight and my shoulder became wet with his tears. The memory of the sound of Estella's laughter and the rending of metal was replaced by the deep howling of a parent's pain.

The old man never reached out to me, never made me feel good enough until that last moment. With him crying in my arms and me holding him up, and wrapped in the torturous persistant last memory of my last good time with Estella, I finally felt accepted and acceptable to the world.

I was finally able to cry.

16 Comments:

Anonymous alicia said...

I don't have the energy to read your blog. It's way too fluffy for my tastes. Why don't you just say what you want to say.

9:45 PM  
Blogger J said...

Alicia - ok well, what I really want to write is... ELEPHANTITUS, there, it's out... yay me.

10:20 PM  
Blogger H said...

very...

indescribably...

well expressed.

2:26 AM  
Blogger Chantel said...

I have so many questions but I guess no words.

11:26 PM  
Blogger J said...

h... thanks

chantel... you have no words? Your blog has it's own nation... go on, start with the word "what"...

10:36 AM  
Blogger Chantel said...

Well J, I'm wondering what you're trying to work out here. On one front you seem so intropesctive like this post, like you're searching but you have your answers already, this post proves it.

But other times......I'm not quite sure. Are you a man finding himself or are you found and you're showing us the way.

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I understand your pain not that one persons pain will ever be understandable by another.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Lil Bit said...

Are you still crying?
Put on a mask & come to my party instead. =)
*hugs*

7:56 AM  
Blogger Carmela Machiato said...

Oh... sad. I'm sad now.

8:16 AM  
Blogger My Post College Life said...

I stumbled on your blog earlier and am feeling your pain. I've been a little down myself and your story shifted the pain towards empathy. Great use of language and way to open up and share. I hope you find all your answers and fufil all your wildest dreams.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Blondie said...

Missing your words, sir. xo

7:15 PM  
Blogger Memoirs of a Sheila said...

I can relate...
Fuck Estella though...
Be my Daddy, make me wet.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Memoirs of a Sheila said...

i thought it was genius

7:53 PM  
Blogger smart mouth said...

Jed,

Not a shot in hell of putting together the puzzle that you are without this piece...

While I won't play "Why don't you lie down on my couch?...The doctor is in...", I will ask one rhetorical question and give a very unsolicited piece of advice.

Did Estella truly make you a better Jed than you were, or has that version crystalized into reality over time?

And now the advice...

Giving yourself permission to only superficially participate in relationships because you believe that it will cost you less... is utter bullshit...something Estella would likely have told you herself.


Julie

9:33 PM  
Anonymous niels said...

Vulnerability is the ultimate display of confidence.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Memoirs of a Sheila said...

i need advice. Urgent. Please see blog.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Blondie said...

Miss your blogs, babe.

5:13 PM  

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