Isn’t This Nice

Image by Katch Silva

I used to think there were different lives running parallel to mine, as if looked out the window just right I might see myself in a different light. Like I could catch my shadow at that fruit stall in Vienna. And in these other lives I never left those places, but these other parallel versions of myself, they too would have had to grow up and make hard choices and be hurt by the way life unfolds like an origami crane.

In the summer we walk down down to the water while the flies bite at our ankles and the tall grass moves like a crowd. There is always something buzzing here, cicadas in the woods. Their life cycle is unbalanced. They live underground as nymphs for two or as many as seventeen years. They only emerge when the conditions are just right for mating. That’s the sound we hear; them calling out. They don’t live much longer after that.

Everything about right now feels short lived. Not in a way that makes me sad, just in a way that makes everything precious. We are aware we will change and emerge as other versions of ourselves, but it doesn’t feel like loosing the way I always imagined it might. Perhaps it is why the body gifts you all these months to come to terms with the idea of it all, and yet we do not know what we cannot know.

So, I am left imagining another version of myself just as I have done before. Only this time there is no plane flight home, no bed to crawl back into, no revision process. Perhaps this is how others make sense of change, they ride it like a heat wave and muscle through it. But, I have never been this kind of person. I have always been washed out even just by the idea of it.

Lately, I like words like citrine and eat nothing but melon with salt for lunch. My body feels like I have sunk into someone I have always wanted to meet. It is entirely strange and perfectly familiar at the same time, like I have done this before.

In the evenings the water is glassy and pollen like buttermilk collects on the surface where we go swimming. The lake water is bath-like, but if you dive down below you can still find the cold undercurrents from the snow melt in spring. The sun is hottest at six and we say things like, isn’t this nice. Not because it is something to say but because I don’t think either of us ever imagined we would be so lucky.

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