lines.

"a line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains." tennessee williams
 

there was a time, longer than i should've given it, that i thought a straight line would be the easiest route to get me where i wanted to go. where that was exactly, that wasn't as clear - but, as long as i toed some invisible line, i'd get there in time. 

i'd do what i was told.

i'd abide by the rules, i'd follow instructions, i would obey, listen and follow along as best as i could.

i followed those straight lines - heel toe, i arrived on time and never empty-handed.

now, when i turn back around, and look straight from where i began, i know better. a crooked line, a curved path; to follow a hurricane of a heart - can leave you punch-drunk, on the floor with vertigo, the ceiling spinning like gin-soaked saturday nights. but more, the bruises and scrapes you'll find in the morning, they'll serve as glorious reminders of where those crooked lines led you. unexpected, unknown, catch-your-breath places - as opposed to those clearer paths, and the unscathed legs of a straight line life.

 

20/30/40.

"youth has no age." p.picasso

i've not ever really bought into the idea that one had to dress, [and when i say 'one', i of course mean everyone/woman/man/me] - for their age.

perhaps, once, and for a long time, this was a necessary trope. societal norms do have a way of keeping a corner of our minds under its thumb.

at 20, you're young! & fresh! baring skin from here to there is proof positive that you are indeed, finally, ripe for the picking.

at 30 - it begins. a contradiction between finally understanding the power that your body yields - but squint, and you'll see how quickly that confidence fades - in the clues you start to see around you. just as quickly as you bared it all for that one hot minute, you wonder if it might now be time to cover it all up again. babies, gravity, your mom, and time - they take a toll.

then, hold me, you land flat on your ass in your 40s - left in the muddle between what your mind & heart keep telling you; show it all with no remorse/you no longer care/cover it up and make it snappy - it's all gone pear-shaped - literally and figuratively.

meanwhile, your mind keeps leaving a trail to your youth - and the nostalgia, it feels like comfort, like home. those creepers and cloaks, tattoos and sweaters - so oversized to keep all sorts of nuts, berries, and small children under the age 9, safe and warm.

instead of feeling that i might not dress for my age, i've realized it's not at all regression - it's just me. fully formed, i am, i was, and will be... this. this version of myself i've known for so long.

i was always her - i've just come back to her. 20/30/40.

creepers, tattoos, winged-liner and all.

nostalgia.

"time was passing like a hand waving from a train i wanted to be on. i hope you never have to think about anything as much as i think about you.” j.s. foer

in the summer of 1996. 

it was hot. and i felt the creeping of something sinister. it had been crawling around for years. falling out of my eyes, and running an endless loop of nicotine and lyrics to songs that played on repeat in my mind, and on my cassette player - playing loud in an 1982 volvo. 

i flew to düsseldorf. a strange reunion with my cleanest of quiet rooms, depeche mode posters staring down at me, the glare of the streetlights curling the lips of my teenaged fantasies.

hugs to mum. onward to london. fred perry t-shirts and a broken heart. met with my best girl who got the guy, and pretended it all away. needing it to be okay. paying £6 for cigarettes i couldn't afford, eating hostel breakfasts packed away in my bag for lunches on the thames, cornerstore ramen on stoops in the evenings. 

a hottest afternoon, we landed on the odeon, leicester square. we stared at 117 minutes of filth in delight - watching others ruin their lives. the music was everything. diane was my hero. renton raced to star wars. time moved in the quickest of clips. and we're all twenty years older.

it was a saturday night then. and now again, in the summer of 2017.

a sofa and a quiet place all to myself.

nostalgia makes memories look soft, the corners less sharp. they don't bruise and bite as much as they did. i'd suffer those injuries on repeat, shuffling these more recent ones away. if only i could. if only nostalgia would.