September Wishbone

I find a wishbone drying on the windowsill. I do not know how long it has been there or where it came from. We rent our house out to friends of friends for the summer while we are gone. When we return, for weeks afterward, I find artifacts of a life that is not mine: a child’s pink sandal under the couch, a mini torch for making creme brulee in the kitchen, black mesh lingerie in the closet, a wishbone on the windowsill. I am interested lately in objects and how they draw the outlines of our life, how we fasten ourselves close to them, and how they define us.

What can I say, other than it is September. It is hot for days on end and the apartment in the afternoon feels like a closet we cannot find our way out of. I haul the baby down the steps and we spend all our time by the water under the cheap green umbrella. I give him frozen strawberries to suck on and we take cool baths in the evening. The water outside shifts between shades of blue that only exist at the end of summer, warm currents, and a gift for surviving the season. It feels right that my last month here is also my favorite.

I do not know who I will be when I no longer live here and when I no longer have this view or the tide to dictate my moods. There is a difference between dreaming and doing but I do not know what it is here. We exist constantly in a liminal space so gorgeous it hurts, so bright you can hardly look at it; just like the sun glitter on the water. What will be when we leave here? Here where we first came together, here where we survived it all, here where we fell in love one hundred times over, here where I carried our son, and where we first brought him home. Here, where our entire lives have happened together. If I could tie myself to it I would.

What am I trying to say to you? That I love it too much to leave, but I have learned that isn’t true. That I only ever feel truly like myself when we come back here. That I am editing the book I wrote in this house and am going to let it live in the world, but sometimes I can hardly bear to read it. I can hardly remember what it felt like to miss something like that. So, I am trying to remember to be like the water so that doesn’t happen to me again. I am trying to be fluid and formless. Or perhaps it is better, to dry out these feelings like the wishbone on the windowsill so that when the time comes I am able to break cleanly in two.

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