At Your Doorstep

I’m here. I have shown up on your doorstep one more time. I brushed my hair and teeth and left the house in a hurry to get here on time. The morning is cold. My breath turns into mist. Is that what it’s like to see words?

 

As I sit in front of the piano, all the notes I touch are wrong. Did someone rearrange the keys? Nothing is where I left it. Nothing is where I remember it to be.

 

Have times changed? Is this what it feels like to be on the other side of the future?

 

I am 25, and the sun is coming up over the landscape. I am looking back now and I can see all the rocks I tripped over and all of the “shortcuts” that wasted my time. I can now look down into the canyon and see myself crying out in the dark for someone to find me. That memory feels so close. So close that I wonder if I am still there, at the bottom of the canyon.

 

I’m not the only one that feels this way. We all stand on the edge. We look down past our sneakers—looking down upon the days behind us. Watching ourselves wander.

 

And that’s why I write. I write because it shoves these feelings into gravity. They stick on the page like bright red paint on a clean wall. And now, they are real. They are tangible. Can you see a feeling? Can you read a feeling? Can you hear a feeling? I believe you can.

 

Do you ever feel like that this life is all just an old-style movie, projected on a big white curtain? So strange, so distant. As if we are remembering it even as it is happening. Maybe one day the big dusty curtain will get tired and frayed. Maybe it will fall onto the ground and we will run towards whatever it is on the other side.

 

The curtain will lay like a line in the sand, between us and the ones we have always wanted to be. The ones we are currently becoming.

 

I will run to her and hug her. And I will tell her I am so sorry for not working harder, not accomplishing more with the time I was given.

 

I will ask her how she made her hair look so thick, and I will laugh when I realize all these years I have been doing it wrong.

 

I know that I will grow into the one I want to be some day. I know she is some somewhere in me, somewhere deep.

 

And she sings, oh she sings. She stands on the table and sings with groaning, with urgency, giving voice to the one inside her. She is certain that there is hope. She knows that she will surely grow in time.

 

All of the words in our storybook romance have fallen. They have faded and cracked. Even the notes to my song are on the dusty floor now. But they can be rearranged. The notes can be pinned on to the page once more. And we will write another story--not the one we thought we wanted. But somehow, this story has a crooked smile, and bony knees. This story somehow feels a lot more like ours.

 

So I’m here now. No, things are not as I thought they would be. Not the way I had written it.

 

I’m afraid just as much as I ever was. I remember stand on the dusty floor with the pages and the pictures that crumbled out of my story. Then I let myself fall slowly out the window.

 

But I’m here now. I woke up and I’m at your doorstep. My eyes are not shiny and my clothes are not clean. But I’m here. I’m here to seek out the right keys on this piano. I’m here to screech and crack until I can make the right sound.