My heart is beating somewhere in the back of my chest. I listen to cars whip up and down Duke Street, interrupted by an occasional ambulance siren. The cacophony outside my window can’t seem to compete with the drumbeat from this heart of mine. Badump. Badump. Badump. I permit 1,000 inane and forever unanswered questions to buzz through me and gnaw away just a little bit. One of those questions becomes “When is it my turn?”
I say it aloud, but quietly, so as not to dare any more tears to drop. I’m not in the mood for bottled up emotions spilling everywhere and making a mess tonight. But, soon I feel my face crinkle and then fold into a frown. I am no less than two-thirds pathetic in this very moment, but sometimes we owe ourselves space to disarm and let the guards drop. At least that’s what I tell myself.
This is what Andra Day might call The Ache. But, this Ache rises and falls in a different way, manifesting itself as a beast at the bottom of my belly that I can’t always tame. This Ache is seasonal. She comes and goes. But, she never fails to appear when I have some uncommitted mindshare, some freedom from the creative cyclone in which I usually live. This Ache is not new, even though every time she appears, she sucker punches me and throws me off balance. This is the Ache brought on by life’s question marks, the greatest of which more and more seems to be love.
Because I want to skip past the pretense and pretty things. I want to skip past the laugh where I cock my head back carefully or the dinners where I squint my eyes just enough to appear both coy and confident. I want to fast forward beyond dates two and three, the ones where I decide I like you enough to keep two stepping to this lover’s rock, but still have the luxury of keeping you at bay. The early days of romance are often times more strategy than soul as we gingerly perform Act I of showing our best selves.
But, I am not wired to move these bits of my heart around like chess pieces. I am too tired and far too undone to play any more of those games. I want it all and I want it now, with my head resting in the pocket between your neck and shoulder, knowing it’s the safest place to call home.
These are the thoughts that sometimes fester and have their way with me. These are the fixations that dance in my mind and pitch tents in between my ears. As of late, this love thing sometimes handcuffs my fingertips and arrests me from even getting words on to the page.
But, then I pull myself up and force my feet to stand back on solid ground. Because the only true choice when it comes to any matter of the heart is to trust one’s process, messy and precarious as that process may be. See, some days the only things I seem to know are holding patterns and praying hands, but I’ll get there some way. Some how. Even with jagged edges and my doors broken off of too many of the hinges, I owe it to myself to believe the Universe is brewing exceptional love in my favor. I owe it to myself to trust my process, as much as that very process sometimes rocks my world and summons me to my knees. I still owe myself that much.
Because we all get there some way. Some how.