Bare legs and avocados almost the size of your palm That’s what I would say if I was asked what the best part of coming home is. Drinking on hilltops that always seemed to mean hope, or at least until someone asked me for help up on its rocks and I did not give it. I still think about that, and I wonder what he would say if he knew. The sangria costs the same as it always did and I still can’t handle drinking three jugs of it. People are still as double-edged and glittering and easily cruel. It still splits me in two.
It is not easy coming home. I tried to tell myself because I knew what it would be like, I would be ready. I use this kind of thinking all the time, and it is hardly ever true. You can ready yourself for the lemon-sting in a cut finger, but it will not hurt any less.
I say a lot of things here that don’t sound like me, but there is something in the trying. Something that feels familiar even as it tugs, and so I do it, because maybe going through the motions is all it’s ever been about. I speak about other people’s parents and I lie about almost everything. I tell him maybe I’m a bad person. He tells me maybe I am. No one thinks to ask me about where I’ve been.
I think of swans and the words I used for my family and I am drawn to all the orange-tones, because there should be sunshine, even now. I worry about what will happen if I stop moving forward. I worry that I am walking around with stone where my blood should be and that I do not know how to go to sleep anymore with the lights out. I do not say this to anyone. I am nowhere in the conversations that I’m having.
It is almost summer. The avocados at my favourite store are ripe and he listens to me even though he thinks I’m bad. And everyone speaks a language I understand and the art is about the town I was born in and wine costs so little you order another bottle. We laugh nearly as much as we cry and there are homes here, and over the phone, and couches still to find and sink into that will not feel like a knife. And knowing all of that is a little like seeing the sun in the middle of a storm, because there should be sunshine, even now.