Friday – September 10
I sat down tonight and watched A Single Man. Floored at 8:06pm on a Friday night, I’m here on my laptop because I can’t stop thinking about moments.
Behind all of the bitch slapping and f-bombs, I’m an incurable romantic and closet eavesdropper: a story well-told is better than an orgasm I didn’t give myself, the finest chocolate or the creamiest banana milkshake. A great story reminds you that everyone has one, wrought with passion, piercing pain, utter fuck-ups and victories both concrete and imagined. I think myself a selfish bitch some days because I get so caught up in my own bullshit that I forget about other people’s stories. And those stories give us moments.
Back in Access, I talked about how I don’t think we leave the house in our single years each day looking for love – we go in search of access. People who will let us in and ultimately, our stories will intertwine. A dance of quirks and perfections – it’s like the nerds all get to dance with the prom queen and captain of the football team. For once. No one gets sprayed with pig’s blood. Life becomes a John Waters film.
If I think of the greatest moments in my life, they don’t have words when they happen(ed). They’re a curious blend of timing, circumstance, participants and whatever happens to be aligned or in retrograde. Romantic love is always referenced in terms of “chemistry.” Moments – well, maybe they’re the times where we share chemistry with the universe. They’re fleeting and were they to last longer, they’d become du jour. Sagas. Epics. De rigeur.
Today, each of us has a love lost. A nightmarish ex-whatever. The friend who fucked us (and not even in the at-risk-for-an-STD kind of way).
But what about the moments?
In spite of it all, there’s the electricity that ran down your spine when he unexpectedly touched your hair on a first not-really-date-is-this-a-date. The one time you saw the human side to the sociopathic narcissist you left a great-paying job to come work for. Hours spent on IM trading nonsensical hilarities that delightfully interrupted all the work you should have been doing. Times where you laughed so loud at an email in your office, people walked in and you claimed a sneeze.
We forget them. Like leftovers in a takeout box, we leave them on the table at the restaurant seven times out of ten and when we realize we don’t have them, we’re pissed.
But we never go back for them. We just miss them when they’re gone.
No matter how magical, we forget.
Tonight, I’m sitting here thinking of moments. Reminiscing, smelling each one, smiling, some tears. Laughing a lot. Missing. See, here’s where I miss them, these moments. But I’m craving, too.
Do you remember the moment where you first realized you love a friend? Not college gay I-love-my-friend. Love. So fucking thankful they’re in your life you have no other words but I love you to describe it love.
You are lucky. You are the homecoming queen and the guy everyone wants on their team. A rock star. Famous. People applaud, you run across home plate and Ed McMahon’s on your doorstep with a Happy Gilmore-sized check. And it all happens in about ten seconds.
That’s a moment.
Moments don’t cause enduring pain. They don’t lie to us or keep reminded us how much they suck. We don’t much remember them when something ends – the other seeps through. Moments? Well, they stand in the background, waiting to be remembered again.
They pass through. The people, pets and things that facilitate them may persist, but why are we so anxious to let go of the moments?
I still remember the moment my grandmother gave me a tube of red lipstick in a bright gold, ridged cylinder. I got to put it in my purse before church. Mine. I smiled.
That’s a moment. And I miss her. I miss how I felt at that moment. Like at age seven or so, I was all grown up and I got to keep a Big Girl Thing in my little white patent leather purse and she knew how much it meant to me.
Moments always come along when we least expect them. Seriously – when’s the last time you left your house and said, “I’m gonna go make some moments today! Hell yeah.”? We don’t do that. They sneak up on us, blindside us. And if we’re lucky, we acknowledge them and a part of us changes forever.
I love them. Moments. I’m having one right now as I watch Big Dog sleep, his paw twitching and exhales varying in depth and frequency. I wonder what he’s dreaming and realize I love watching him sleep. For all the drool and water dripped from a sloppy jaw throughout the house, he’s the same 12-pound explosion of fur I adopted in November of 2007 after listening to Shirley Temple’s “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” play on the radio as I drove to the shelter. I’ve never seen his paw twitch. His name is Hippo(potamus, of course).
Next Thursday, I won’t remember his paw twitching or the flashback I had to the moment he plopped himself in my lap at the shelter. The sweet face that told me he was going to come home with me and make the cats’ lives a living hell. The same sweet face that didn’t tell me dogs don’t speak English, or more notably, that puppies know how to crap, eat and chew – none of which are ever done in the proper place or with the proper things. Moments make us remember when we allow ourselves the luxury. They’re plush and lush and while not every moment evokes an inner glow, each hits us in an indescribable way. It’s a gift to share a moment with someone or something, but I find an odd comfort in knowing the same moment is experienced differently by everyone involved. A gorgeous game of telephone where everyone gets to keep a little secret.
What are your moments and what do you do to honor them and the people who were a part? Endings we didn’t plan don’t have to mean we discount the moments.