I don’t know what to write about.
That’s not true. I have lots to write about — bits and pieces swirling around my head of life happening, one thing after another, day after day.
I want to write about the makeup I bought a few days ago. The strange urge that came over me recently to wear makeup — craving the orderliness of tiny bottles and compacts and brushes; craving the ritual, the time — those three minutes when I have to look in the mirror and pay special attention to the wrinkles and pimples and spots, gently addressing each one, applying color and shimmer and powder.
I want to write about the old diaries I unearthed after a weird dream one night. I want to write down why those diaries and pictures and postcards made me so sad — why, or for what, I am not sure yet. I can’t quite find the right words to grieve for things past, or why I feel the need to grieve at all for that matter.
I want to write about the photo I saw of an old boyfriend a few days ago. In the picture he is standing with his father and I had to take a quick breath as I realized that now he looks like his father and not like the blond boy I loved 15 years ago — maybe a little less hair, maybe a bigger belly, a rounder face. And right here I want to say something about the realization that the same thing must be happening to me and that maybe that makeup purchase wasn’t a bad idea.
I want to write about how my mom didn’t speak to me last week and how I wanted to feel guilty and remorseful, but instead felt tired and resentful. I also felt like a true grown-up, patching up our relationship with flowers and chocolates and a card. I want to say that I am happy that the fight is over, but I am not happy that it happened.
I want to write about Sam and about how he ate two hard-boiled eggs a few nights ago. He requested them out of the blue, then sat on the kitchen counter before dinner and methodically peeled the shells off, shook some salt on them and just ate them. He giggled while he ate and suddenly I had a craving for eggs too. He made them seem so delicious. I want to write about that.
I want to write about Drew and Sam in the other room, reading together. I want to saw something about their relationship– so fragile and delicate and complicated like a piece of lace. And how I worry about them — the lace ripping into shreds in a careless moment.
I want to write about ambition — mine, mostly — about compromise, about hope, and plans, and excitement, and real estate, and travel, a friend’s divorce, new clothes, my birthday, and time-tocking away.
I want to write about it all. But nothing seems to stop long enough for me to capture, to digest, to analyze, to make permanent. Life keeps happening — there are lunch boxes to pack, appointments to keep, jobs to show up for, beds to make, dinner to cook, moments to savor. So what is some guy I used to know in college has gained weight? So what if there is blush on my cheeks? Will the swirling stop of I put these on paper in an orderly fashion with beginnings and ends and maybe a nice lesson to take away from it all? Do I want it to stop? Isn’t it such a luxury to navel-gaze? Isn’t it so naive to think that somehow all of this makes sense?
For now, I let things simmer. Here they are in brief paragraphs, just to release the pressure in my head, to list what occupies my mind this week, to acknowledge and release the swirling, the randomness, the day-to-day.
Someday soon these too will belong in a dusty diary or a crumpled notebook and maybe I will grieve for them or maybe I will wonder why these mattered at all.