Saturday, December 25, 2010

the girl who cried wolf, part two

I tell stories about my Scotsman, his accent ringing in my ears with the Christmas bells, his gentle eyes, his turns of phrase. Tender moments remembered from the dead of night, every little trick of eye that makes him new to me, distinguished among the other tango cads.

No one believes me.

You have all been patient . . . through Gatsby and the G.I.Q. You've followed my roller coasters from their crest to the inevitable crash. I understand. I have no better reason to believe.

Except that it is Christmas, and I am full of wine and hope and buttered breads. The New York moon hides behind the blizzard blowing in. I hide behind a dream. The quiet of this dead-leg week invites my introspection, this taking stock.

Do I not have all I'd ever ask for?

I fear what may be missing is the faith.

My Scotsman's homebound flight (on Tuesday) was canceled and set again (for Thursday). Wednesday was our stolen evening, his loft to ourselves with candles lit, Prosecco from a goblet, warmed up farmers' market apple pie. We sat on the sofa, our legs intertwined, and talked about feminism, his work, my writing, and the finer points of normative naturalism. We slow-danced to Miles Davis and stayed up til dawn.

I'll see you in a week, you wonderful creature, you, he said when he left. He kissed me as I stood on goosefleshed tippy toes, my naked legs stretched up into his candy red jumper. He was humming, scatting, bah-rum-bum-bum-ing in his delicious baritone, happy as a king.

Later, locking up and stabbing out for work, I was smiling too. Industrial Bushwick glittered in the morning sun. This man, my Jack, is smart and kind. He has treated me as a long lost Maggie Cassidy, reincarnate for a second chance.

I have no reason to doubt him, but I do.

Then again, I doubt everything. It is a matter of history. Or insanity: doing and feeling the same things over and over, expecting different results.

How long before the well of trust is dry, before we die inside? Are we born with a finite supply of wonder and the will to dream? I realized, this year, I forgot to lay out homemade cookies and a carrot stick. I had them squirreled in my suitcase in a plastic bag, but the hotel city Christmas Eve threw my bearings, and I let one more childhood moment go.

Love is like believing in Santa Claus. It is just as implausible, and therefore just as important to leave the cookies and listen for sleigh bells.

For now, he is an ocean away. I have no guarantees. But Friday will come to welcome in the newer year, his flight will land, and we'll have to wait and see.

Kerouac wrote, "It's only later you learn to lean your head in the lap of God, and rest in love."

May later come sooner than it might.


Kathleen said...

Stop questioning every little thing. Enjoy what you have. If you are still enjoying yourself in three months, you may revisit these questions.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks you doubt yourself. Not him. Perhaps you lack faith in yourself, having called it love so often and so quickly from what I read.

Try figuring out what's real for you -- not some movie in your head, or what other people think you should do.

A new year awaits.

Phoenix said...

I would say that while it is hard to have faith, the tide always turns, things always change, and there are some things (and people) that appear in our lives in which we are allowed to have total and complete faith, if we let ourselves.

It's Christmas. Just believe in the magic, for once, with your little girl shoes on, and if the winds blow and the magic ends, you are grown up enough to take it; but if the magic stays and the night stays calm, be strong enough to let it just sit on your shoulder like a little bird.