|Everything's More Fun In Pigtails!|
|2003-12-28 || A Year Ago I Had It All....|
Bear with me, it's just one of those nights.
I went on the hunt for the elusive winter coat yesterday. I fell in love with it on Friday in that "I must have you NOW - why are you not my size?" sort of way and spent part of yesterday scouring the three other locations of the store I saw it in only to come up empty and longing. It's not that I essentially need the coat - I have five winter coats already, but it was just SO me and I wanted it. Plus, it was on sale for $30 - HOW can you beat that? You can't, I tell you. You just can't. Thinking about it again now, maybe I'll head up into southern Massachusetts this week to check out their selection. Hmmm. In the wise and great words of Wayne Campbell, "It will be mine...oh yes, it will be mine.
Now I'm rambling about the coat which wasn't even the reason for putting me in the mood to write tonight. But it did cause it in a roundabout way. While searching for that damn coat yesterday, I ventured up to the exit. THE exit. One of the stores was up there, so I had to take it. I don't know why I still flinch taking that road a year later, but I do. A year ago I used to look forward to taking that exit and that road because it meant I was going to see him. I passed the exit every day on my way to and from work and every time I drove by I would smile. I knew where it led. I knew he was there. It's funny, because I thought I was fine and had pushed that part of my life to the far recesses of my being, where the bats and goblins hang out and play poker for money. But no, there it was all over again the moment I neared the exit. My chest tightened a little and I winced as I eased my way onto the road. My eyes automatically started darting around everywhere, even though I tried to will them not to. But they wouldn't listen. They were looking for a car like his, for a glimmer, for anything. I drove along and saw places that were painfully familiar to me. A year ago we were at that Dunkin' Donuts where we laughed our heads off at a crusty older man complaining about the "hooligans" outside and how they turned the handicapped parking sign around to face backwards. The man was so incensed about it and told anyone within earshot that he made sure it was facing the correct way, and "these damn kids today," blah, blah, blah. I remember him nonchalantly passing by the sign on our way out and gently elbowing it back to its hooligan-y backwards position. There was the gas station and quick mart that we'd stop at all the time so he could buy cigarettes and I could get some snacks. I remember sitting in the car one night while he was in there, just watching him and feeling so blessed and lucky to be the girl he was with. There was the Pick n' Pay, which I was instructed to pay close attention to on our second date, because that marked the turnoff for the road that led to his house, and chances were that I would be going there soon. And he was right. A year ago he came out of that same store with a big smile on his face and a bottle of my favorite drink in his hand. I didn't even have to tell him that I was thirsty. Sometimes it's the little things that stay with you the most. I successfully avoided coming out onto a side road that was a shortcut to his house. A year ago we drove down that road many a time, smiles as wide as our faces would allow, staring at each other in amazement and kissing at stop lights. I parked my car a few rows over from the craft store that we went to a year ago to buy felt for his project. I remember it clearly because it was the day that I first felt like and knew that he was my home. I wanted to come home to him every day. It was comforting. A year ago we made constant jokes about the bowling alley and laughed until our stomachs hurt. A year ago we went to that movie theater and felt like we were the only two people in the world. I thought these memories were fading, or at least stored in a box in the back of my mind. I swear I had them locked up there and had doomed them to "Please-Go-Away" land, yet there they were, searing my brain as fresh as the day they took place. It was disconcerting and frustrating, but still oddly comforting. I want the memories and feelings to go away, I wish my hardest that they would, yet I'm always sadly happy to see them when they come around.
A year ago I used to take that road to get to him. It led to happiness. It led to my home. Now it just leads to lingering memories that evoke both sorrow and comfort, for a year ago we lost each other. Timing. That was all. Timing. Now he's there and I'm here and a year later it still makes no sense. And a year later I still can't drive down a simple road without missing him like crazy.
I miss me, too. Not only did I lose him a year ago, but I lost parts of myself that are still struggling to come back. See this smile?
That picture was taken right before I left for our first date. I want that smile back. I want that sheer happiness back. I want that girl back.
Someday soon she'll come home. I hope.
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