refrain

Jessica said this, about my anaphorafixation:

Also: “anaphora” sounds a bit like a prompt I’ve been toying with lately: “refrain.” Been trying to connect the idea of something you hear repeated in a song that moves you, with the idea of something (or someONE) you keep coming back to.

refrain2

I’ve been dreaming lately about somebody I used to know. A boy. An if you love him let him go type of boy. An if you love yourself you’ll let him go type of situation.

There’s such a tension in these dreams. I know the way things unfold; I watch them from the now knowing everything that comes after. In my dreams I choose to stay, to live it out again, to relish it, with and without hope for a different outcome. There’s still all this love, pale upon waking, this longing and misplaced certainty. And there’s the me who is watching the dream and wincing, but who knows that it’ll be okay.

I wrote a poem about it once. It was the first poem I ever wrote after knowing Crystal. I wrote about how I was certain like the sea, how the way I felt about him was like having my feet in wet sand, ankle-deep, being pulled. It was the only time I’d come close, really close, to knowing what it’s like to feel in love.

It seems pretty silly now, honestly. (It seems, sometimes, like the surest thing I’ve ever known.)

I tried to reach out to him recently. I wanted to apologize for something I’d said. I could have said it months ago, and I didn’t. But this situation was my perfection combination of definitions. A refrain, this person I keep coming back to; to refrain, to stop myself, for my own good.

refrain1

I met Crystal at an odd, sad moment in both our lives. We were both so young and heartbroken. We’re still pretty young, and we’re probably still heartbroken, sometimes, but it’s a little different now. She would come over to my apartment, a nicer place than I could afford, which was always lit in red and gold even though the walls were stark and bare. We’d drink a giant bottle of wine and scribble things down and cry. Twenty-three is a good time to be that way.

Of course it wasn’t always pretty. There was one time that we drank this awful passion fruit rum another friend had given me as a housewarming gift. I finished most of the bottle and promptly puked it all up from the top of my bed, which was lofted over the sofa. Crystal cleaned it up and made sure I fell asleep and in the morning we ate snowy pastries from the bakery around the corner. It had been there for a hundred-and-three years. It had probably seen generations of hungover girls short on sleep and seeking a sugar high, the only people who could save each other just by letting each other be, and by witnessing each other write it down.