What I am thinking about is how I’d like to write songs. And then what I am thinking is I wish I knew how to play the guitar because that seems like an important piece of that idea. It is not so early in the morning, but I am alone so time takes on a mercurial quality and the ocean and the sky are grey. A small V of birds fly’s through my vision of the horizon.
When I am alone I have conversations with myself.
In this one I state, there are only two regrets in my life, two things I’d like to go back and do. (Because as they say it is never the things we did.) If I went back I would have my high school boyfriend teach me to play guitar in the basement of his parent’s house in the suburbs. He was so very talented and we spent so many evenings down there, high, and hardly in love, and he was always playing the guitar. If I can remember though, I was shy and I didn’t ask.
The second is that I wish I’d had sex with this one boy, one hot afternoon, in this strange attic apartment he had in Minneapolis. It was one of the only things I ever truly wanted and kept myself from doing my entire life. Perhaps there is a good lesson in that, but I do not know what it is.
Then in this conversation with myself, I say but what if. What if the two of you then played music in small cafes in Minneapolis and you were a little bit good at it, and then what if you never left. My entire life. Or what if you did sleep with him and what if now your child was ten and looked as lovely as he did. My entire life. And in a split second, the most innocuous of wants are pivotally life altering. This is not a new idea.
What it does for me though, is it tells me, nothing is small. We think we are made, undone, by these grand sweeping gestures in life. By falling in love, or moving across the country, by death and birth. But, truthfully those big moments are the payout, the cash in of all of the ones that seemed small, that passed by, that could have been another way.
Our grand changes are not our changes at all, but rather the product of the small choices that are not small. Because nothing is small. And if that is true, then one might think this right now, you’re reading and my writing is perhaps the grandest of gestures we’ve ever made.
But, this is just a conversation with myself.