In one week I have spun myself into a trap.
Did you know that Lucille Clifton was born with six fingers on each hand? I remember she came into one of my writing courses at St. Mary’s College in maybe 1998, and told us about leading the writing life. What I remember from that day are two tidbits: 1) No excuses, write not because it inspires you, not because you have tons of free time, or because you like the recognition, but because you must; and 2) be grateful for your normal hands.
This has become relevant in the past week because, I saw the way I was remarkable. I saw my sixth fingers, and I wanted to chop.
Like a teenager, I was quick to paste my reveling onto another person’s face. Even as I sat in my meditation/grading/Workaholics watching chair, I saw myself opening up Pandora’s box. Boxlette. I haven’t gone dating in some time. Gone dating? – like horseback riding, or rappelling. I forgot my reactive power. I forgot that I am a mac truck of passion, and patient as a two year old. There are my sixth fingers.
I wanted to hear from him immediately. So, like a good post-queer feminist, I waited two days, and then I texted him. Nothing. And two days later, still nothing, a last ditch effort. Nobody’s too busy to send a text saying he’s busy. Right? So I decided he wasn’t interested, and I should give him an easy out.
I watched myself expand as paint on wet watercolor paper, making less and less sense, forgetting the original image I began with. Who is this guy? Why do I care? What is in me that could explode like this.
When I met J last weekend he felt out-of-the-ordinary. I played it cool when I was with him, let him decide when we would kiss, let him decide where we would go. But I felt like I should let him, like the universe had said, Xan, you know, you’ve had a rough time lately, you deserve this, I’ll give you exactly what it is you’ve been asking for. Without getting into specifics, he’s handsome, he’s successful, he’s wicked smart, and contrary to my typical younger men, not a struggling artist. But he seemed meant to appreciate the kind of crazy I have, and I thought, finally, I might get a chance to work on a relationship, instead of hopscotch away from it pretending I never believed in the first place.
I want to believe. I want to sit in a cliché like a boat made of paper drifting off to sea.
I teach high school, and I hear about love like this all the time. I scoff at this cosmic sense of love. It doesn’t exist. It’s a projection of the ego. It’s lust. But I’ve felt it, and I crave it. In prior relationships, I’ve been so excited about someone that I shook convulsively in the intensity of that connection.
I know that love is work, but I know it’s worth it. And you have to go through this process first. But damn if I just got an update from god that it was close, that I was on the right track, that would be helpful.
With the excitement I felt, both as a possible new lover, and then as a girl rejected, I could have sat in the hood of my Mazda 3 and been the battery powering the engine. All organic, all fire, no fuel needed.
I don’t even know whether this is off or on or something in the middle. And honestly, J has almost become almost irrelevant in the equation. He set me off, and helped me see something in myself that was already there, dormant. I just found the part of myself that makes me outstanding.
I have all this to offer. I want to pour this party over someone, and show them that life is all magic. I want to pull out a sieve and cull the lost gold floating in someone’s psyche. I want to hold, hold down, hold up. I will never have an everyday love. I need a lion tamer. This is my sixth finger. I may find a little bit of love everyday, but it takes a mighty man to make me stay.