Like I Used To

It feels like it’s been a long time since I saw the swimmers swim by. Their neon swim caps, their arms cut through the glassy morning water. Ripples reach the shore and someone’s voice echoes up from the cove. I knew it before I knew it that nothing would be the same, but I didn’t knowing anything back then.

More now than ever there is joy in the little things I can hold in my hands like seashells and coffee and braiding my hair. One of the swimmers climbs on a rock and it appears from here that he is walking on water. The mornings, even in the peak of summer, are wet and cold and steal blue where the sea and the sky are the same.

I want to be the sort of person who is good at change, who rolls over in the night and lets it come to me. I want to be the kind of wife who is good at making things better, not one who makes them worse, with the clicking of my nervous fingers and eyes that dart out the window while we drive. Sometimes I want to be the one who soothes.

I have the clear and distinct thought, that I used to like myself more. I used to be more interesting. I used to be easier to be around, more fun. I know it’s true without even asking you, and still I pick up the phone for three days straight thinking you’ll be able to tell me I am right and even more so, how to make it better. How to make me better. How to make me like I used to be.

A different life indeed, but more than that, like I was wired differently. Does this happen with age? Do we pick up habits and worries along the way? I just don’t know how to enjoy it the way I used to. All I used to do was play and wonder.

It was aimless and lovely and sometimes the only thing to be done was watch the sun set. Drunk in Paris in the middle of the day looking for a place to get tattoos. When I look at photographs of myself back then I think, I wasn’t always like this. No, not a different life, a different planet entirely.

And sometimes in the morning I wonder if we are ever going to be that kind of free again and I wonder if that is why the swimmers swim.

image from Dylan drunk in Paris in the middle of the day

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