I came upon some old journal entries of mine from the spring before I moved to Tucson. I thought I’d share a few of them over the next days for some insight into what went through my mind. Going through them was surprising even for me, now.
It recently occurred to me that everyone else is the constant in my life. You would think that I would be the constant, because no matter who I’m with… I’m the only person that continues to be the same. But I am not the same. I am a new person with everyone. This is why I lack perception of myself. I don’t know which self to perceive myself as regularly.
I’m comfortable with that right now, but I shouldn’t be.
This time of year sparks my memory of summers at my Grandma’s house. They were always fun because the pool would be filled and my cousins would come over. I’d wake up early and change into my bright green swimsuit, I’d stick out my baby fat belly between the pieces and I’d forget to comb my hair. I was 6. I’d stand in front of Marllette’s bed and my short stubby legs would propel me through the air on top of my sister and she’d scream.
“Hey, wanna go swimming before everyone else comes?”
“No. I want to sleep.”
“Can I sleep with you?”
“No! Your bed is 3 feet away!”
I’d lay down and pretend to snore. My swim suit smelled like old pool water and Marllette would be irritated until she’d finally get up and change. She’d stomp outside and drop 2 towels on the floor and lay down on the pool deck. I’d lay down next to her with my legs crossed and sunglasses on, and by noon the cousins would come and Marllette would find her energy. We’d tire ourselves out and wave good bye until the next day. I’d wipe my nose with my hand and touch Marllette. Why was that gross? Watermelon stained suit and all, she’d shove me in the shower and remind me to put shampoo in my hair. We’d eat popscicles, watch I love Lucy and go to bed. At 2 AM I’d move to her bed. I don’t know why it was safe, or why she was any more able to protect us at 10 than I was at 6, but her bed seemed softer and warmer and farther from the shadows of trees on the wall.
I’ll see you and you’ll smile, confused as to what I’m thinking. But I will know what’s on your mind. I’ll prepare for the silence once again, and when you do speak, I won’t reply, because you won’t want my answer.