Five a.m. Dear God. Often, that’s how I begin journal entries. And so begins this one to you. Dear God, where’s J? Miss you, bro. Gonna caulk my tub today. Damn, can’t stop thinking about that kid who jumped from the GW Bridge. Could’ve been me a while back. Amy’s frozen meals on sale.
God. When I use that word, I mean something inside and out, a
higher power that connects us all — from the white-haired writer to the
sun, from the baby spitting up to the wind. Cats to horses to trees.
From the painted actor to the woman with a toothless grin. And back
again. In early moments, words come fiercely but truly. The people
around me, strangers to friends, are the ones who teach me about
Man, I love Diet Dew.
There was this striking, big-eyed woman I met in the hospital. We never
talked in there. Nobody really talked. Recently, I ran into her by pure
chance, and when our eyes locked, we both smiled wide. We know what
it’s like to be trapped, wearing slipper socks, eating from trays,
working on puzzles with missing pieces. I shook her warm hand, feeling
the life there. Gratitude overwhelmed me. We were outside, moving
around, free. “How are you?” we both asked at once. Neither one of us
answered. I cried a little.
Daily, a red-haired girl stands on a nearby street corner. She holds a
sign that reads, “Homless. Need Help.” Glaring and raw, three words
tell her story. And so does her squinty left eye; it twitches with
craving. Sure, maybe she wants drugs, but her heart’s message is clear:
The struggle is deep here. Without recovery, I could be standing there
with a sign, dirty and confused and sick as shit, skin burned red by
the autumn sun.
Aye, me want a pirate ship.
With others, messages are cloudy.
A joke, a game, hates my guts? I dunno. I leave it alone. I only know
my side, and both times my words and heart collided and I couldn’t
separate the two. Last year, I didn’t even try. I beat myself up for a
while. So fucking fragile. But
my soul can be vicious when it comes to love and dreams, and I still
feel a piercing connection there, one that is indeed alive in me. But I
could be any of them, on the other side. I’ve flirted with the wrong
one. I’ve joked when I should’ve been serious. I’ve crossed boundaries
when I should’ve been quiet. Back when I drank, I lied about it. I am a
puppy. I am a shark.
I’m gonna give someone a noogie.
Haven’t we all lost ourselves, desperately searching for someone that “gets” us? But truthfully, my interactions with all
others are lasting lessons and reflections, telling my truth: I’m 36.
Certain thoughts drive me, thoughts that any single woman my age might
have. Get married, yellow house. Like her. Find lucrative career. Like him. Go west. A swing set, a son. Pretty like them.
Then there’s the side of me with muscle. Lately, I try my best to
harness my passionate mind, keeping the intricacies as mine, letting
the rest go. But I won’t stop the flow of my naked writing style,
because when I try to change it, it feels like I’m wearing someone
else’s too-large suit. When I saw that woman, my twin from the
hospital, I realized that I need to let the universe decide how I
should write, who I should be with and where I should live. It isn’t up
Pulling out my sleeping bag, just because.
Someone just filled my fridge with food. The apartment came through
magic. Friends helped me move. The car, a lucky deal. As of yesterday,
I have furniture. For the past year, I had virtually none. All of it
was given to me. I look around, from table to chair, and God tells me
that my answer rests in giving and receiving. True love lives there,
within the spiral of human lives.
Reality. I’m no famous artist, actor or model. Never claimed to be. I’m short, I’m not graceful, slender or feminine, and I’m covered with the scars we call tattoos. Human and flawed, love me or laugh at me, but I am one strong lion, and I write straight up from the gut, and that is something.
We all have a divine voice, and I have something to say to me, to you, to us. Hey, I fell in love with a strange, beautiful man, and we never really spoke, and my imagination raged. But deeply and sincerely, I clearly saw myself in him, and that is so real. And I am strange and beautiful, too, as are you. And that is enough.
That kid. The way he jumped. He and J in heaven? Time for a nap.
CONTACT C.A. MACCONNELL: firstname.lastname@example.org