I talked with a few of you about feeling like I don’t have any spirituality left… like I was just made up of the ways I spent my time. Cleaning, rushing, caring for my babies. I used to be a pretty huge thing. I used to spill over into the world around me, but I pulled my gates closed, folded up my edges and settled in for a long night. I’ve been in the trenches of birth and recovery, of sleeplessness and selflessness, or doing everything for somebody other than me. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, and I love my life and myself infinitely more for being a mommy, for having these two wonderful people in my life to love and serve.
Now, if that last sentiment makes you roll your eyes, consider me, at age 27. Consider that there had never been anybody to work for. I didn't have a reason to be good, so I wasn't. I was dying. I came scuttling across the pavement after dark. I was a ghost, wavering and hollow. I was an apparition. I had a needle in my arm, that's how I spent my time.
If I say that I'm grateful for diapers and laundry, it's because I've seen the alternative, and for me, it's something dark. If I say that I'm happy serving my love, it's because I'm really fucking happy serving my love. Motherhood is hard. It's boring and the days are long. It's exhausting and isolating. It's also the only thing I've ever been able to proud of.
But, allow me to say that it was kind of a beautiful thing to spend a few days with old friends; with people who know me for me, and who, honestly, don’t know very much about how I’ve spent the last five years.
Our old friends, they know Kurt for the last dregs of an $8 bottle of vodka. They know him for overdosing, for getting robbed while passed out at a bus stop. They know me for my painted eyes, for manic sunrises and vomiting off of the front stoop. They know me for being a little bit dangerous, for being a never ending partner in crime.
They live across a sea of experience from me, now. Thinking about them has made me feel lonely, so many time. No one came with me when I entered the water with a swollen belly, when I walked until I was submerged over my head. I was alone when I crawled onto the far shore, stinging all over with new skin.
Over time, I’ve figured that there was nothing left of me to recognize, that, if you knew me when I was young, you might not know me, now. I’ve felt that I don’t have anything left to offer somebody who doesn’t know intimately what it’s like to change a diaper before brushing your teeth, who hasn’t showered alone for years. I've become a mannequin against an ironing board. I felt lost to them, and alone.
I left the girls with my mom, with a promise that Daddy would bring them to me in the morning, and I went into the countryside to be in a wedding. My beautiful girlfriend was getting married. I was nervous, picking broken Cheerios from the seat of my dress as I got out of the car to meet my old friends. It's been a long time since I had to play the part of myself. I wasn't sure I had it in me, but I did. I had it all inside of me, oceans of love for these people, arms capable of reaching them, holding hands under the table. I had them all inside of me. I was even in there, too.
We told stories and laughed until we cried. I cried and cried again at how beautiful Megan was, at her dress in the full length mirror, at her memory of her father, at my memory of sitting with her on the roof of our rented college house, both of us stiff and wired on acid, promising her I would be there for this day. We would be married, someday, and I would never stop loving you. Because we were all misfits, and we were trouble, but there was real love there, too. Our friends, under the blankets, warm on a mattress on the floor of my college bedroom, under an orange bulb with the stereo turned low. I married one of them. I belong to all of them, in our own ways, forever.
|meggie and doug|
|i love you.|
|megan was perfect.|
|um, have i mentioned that i cried about a million times?|
|we're all grown up, i guess.|
I’m not sure I can express to you the joy and love of these few days, meeting beautiful new boyfriends, squeezing my grown up friends so tight. It's no surprise that years have made everybody more handsome and comfortable inside themselves. All the love I felt I left on an island came flooding back, looking into your faces and remembering the kids we used to be. Long nights that stretched into morning, cigarettes and pull over sweatshirts and we sad and twisted up inside, but were in it together, and now everything is different, but it will always be the same.
Spending some time surrounded by beautiful gay men and actresses was just what I needed to pull myself out of this funk I've been suffering. (I need to remember this the next time I haven't been out of yoga pants in months.) Some time with our old friends, loving them, getting bolstered by them and letting them love our girls (and my haircut) was something I probably needed really badly. There were even cupcakes and fireworks. Scouty danced the night away.
Congratulations, Meg and Eric. Thank you for letting us be a part of your beautiful day. We love you more than we can say.