Yesterday I went for a run—an hour, longer than I’ve gone in some time, though I have been testing myself, and building strength, on the treadmills at school. Earlier that day I’d finished watching Reality Bites (these days I can only seem to watch movies in chunks). I know there are many things wrong with that movie, but the scene at the very end, on the front steps, broke me down. I’m usually susceptible to reunions of all kinds, but more than ever now.
I feel open to the bone. Liam asked me—is it a kind of pining, like Abelard? I said—it’s not pining, or idealism, though of course there can’t help but be some. It’s more grief. Grief at having lost something that was so obviously good. Do you think now, he asked, she’s trying to punish you? I said I didn’t think so. Nothing like that. Even if I would understand if some unconscious part of her was.
In Caledon I talk to Mikka about an essay that she’s written—I’m happy to have the distraction, to remind myself of a life outside of this one. On the phone I’m in a closed bedroom and the door keeps opening. Somehow I’m always shocked when it happens. The person on the other side of the door has left something under the bed, they want to double check my closet, they think it is necessary to lock Ripley inside the room.
This isn’t what I wanted to write. I wanted to write something clear, and positive, like light reflecting brightly off the snow. A moment of self-realization, of a kind of unspoken quiet determination. Something to match a feeling that I got near the end of an article on rising uncertainty and interest in astrology in the New Yorker—Chani Nicholas’s idea that the usefulness of astrology is to learn how to both cope with and find distance from your suffering.
And I could have written that—could have mentioned how when I started running again recently, returning to it as a way of dealing with anxiety, I had gone through a long period of thinking I could no longer rely on it in the way that I am now. How it had started to seem impossible that so much change could be again wrought on me. How even feeling close to my grief, knowing what and who I want, having a better understanding of my feelings, was something I was not in the past as able to do. I do not relish this loss, or this uncertainty. But I do like—or maybe a better word is appreciate—that I am able to feel it with so much clarity.