I have often wondered what it would be like to be alive.
Not that I fancy myself a zombie, but because I fancy that all of us are a little less than alive.
This means something like: you don’t wake up with a knot of joy in your chest. It means something like: my body feels leaden before caffeination. Mostly it means something like: our love stops short of transformation. In every moment, our love stops short of what our loved ones deserve.
I realize this (that my childhood is built on this inevitable stopping-short) so I try to forgive. Not just my mom, but myself. I can hardly look love in the eye without wanting to turn around and run until the love runs out.
It comes in waves- the feelings of closeness, of attachment, of respect. But waves recede in time. When they recede, I want to run from the salty undulations. I want to run to a love-less desert, a wave-less oasis of solitude and heat. Something about this barrenness comforts me. No lichen-laden trees or vine-thick forests, mangling the free flow of air. Just open spaces, clean heat. Just the feeling that this sun could kill me if it wanted to, but that my body will prove itself strong, will prove the heat wrong, will stand solitary as a saguaro.
Tomorrow I will go home, and I rejoice in this. I will nurse my sick baby back to health. I will see my husband. It’s insistent, this Arizona heat. It doesn’t let me run far, like love of the man I married. In the heat of his love, the Unease may dissipate almost as soon as I see his face.
But not today. Today I wish to be a desert, selfish in my solitude.