Author Topic: Awakewalking  (Read 1022 times)

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Awakewalking
« on: May 28, 2019, 12:48:08 pm »
I walked about eleven miles on Sunday. I didn't plan on it, things just happened.

Grief, and transition points in grieving, can be a real slap in the brain. That shit can keep you out of the Daily Grind mindset for days at a time. It sounds great until you remember that the Daily Grind is how we conserve resources and keep ourselves out of trouble until such a time as we want to get into trouble, autopilot serving its proper function saves lives. I'm spending a lot of time Awake. A lot more than anybody should. It feels weirdly like dreaming.

Decisions like what to eat are hard and choosing not to do certain stupid things is nearly impossible, but large decisions are easy. I'm running for office, I have to. My kid is switching to full time living with her dad, it's the right move for her. I'm choosing which people from my past to reconnect with, because if they die I would be sorry we lost this time. It's easy right now to see what matters, and so many things matter. There is so much worth doing, worth seeing.

Tarot was my first foray into cold reading, and is still my favorite. It works by putting the reader and subject in a symbol rich environment, inviting them to make connections with the symbols and the stories of themselves. I'm living in a symbol rich environment right now. Everything has significance I can't seem to ignore. When sailors die they come back as seagulls. The daffodils bloomed when we took each other back, they were in full bloom when he died. A rock was sitting incongruously on the street where I shone like a star that winter, where just for a second I could have smashed every window in the world. The compass rose at long wharf, pointing to his home, and to the sea where I sent him to rest. The cereal he left in the house. Every inch of Boston we walked together.

It was Memorial Day weekend and I remembered so much. Sat on the Parkman Bandstand where we waved our flags and danced like idiots, where he smashed our terrible homemade pinata to bits, where I stopped last year after sneaking out of his cousin's apartment in the early hours, reclaiming my space after the nazis had sullied it. Walked through the spaces where I'd led protests, participated in them, where I'd handed out flyers and wrangled assholes. After the one last June I ducked out to meet him on Charles street, exhausted and sunburned and hoarse from yelling. I think he took me somewhere to get some water and food, god I can't even remember that. Just a moment with the bright sun ahead of us and my feet sore in the shade of old buildings, so glad to see him just for a bit, so glad he could see me like this.

There should be some kind of punctuation mark. Something I can say or do that will wrap up this part of the story, this part of the grieving, so I can go on to the next thing. There has to be some way to go back to sleep. But I am Awake and aware of things. I am wandering the streets feeling like time is fake and very thin, and if I could just find a way I could smash through to that moment when he was standing on that spot, looking at the moon from Beacon Hill in the cold night air. If I just leave the lights off in the room where he slept, I can imagine he's still on the couch, dreaming. It seems like those delusions should be a sign of mental sleepiness, but awareness isn't sanity. Being Awake means knowing what's happening, even in your sad and broken head.

I put my feet in the Charles and walked around town barefoot until they dried, caught all kinds of strange looks from people who aren't aware how clean that section of Boston is. No needles or nips or gravel to avoid, just the occasional gooseshit and stray rock. The brick sidewalks feel amazing underfoot. I put my shoes back on by the statehouse, the spot where I froze just a few weeks ago at a protest as the ghost of an earlier one slammed into me. That hill was the site of the last protest I would ever tell him about, and the first one I would never get to share with him. Every stone of that city means something.

It's exhausting, being awake like this. Remembering everything. Being terrified of the day you inevitably start forgetting. People look at you like you're crazy when you walk around all day like this.