June 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
Out of all the hundred and one ways in which the past four months have been awful, the worst are the summer Sundays. I wonder if I would have had the strength or courage to break up with Danny if I had known these days were coming. That the simple act of driving in my car with the windows down and my hand out in the pure flowing poetry of summer air would hurt this badly, like when you gulp water and it’s so cold it makes your teeth ache and you can feel it all the way down into your gut. These should be the halcyon days: golden and blue skies, the fragrance of pine rising like incense as I drive through the woods, dusk lingering long past eight, but instead I only feel bruised, and nothing will settle inside my chest. I can’t pray in my car now because when I pray, I can only ask why. I hate that all my favorite music reminds me of him and just makes me cry.
Heartbreak won’t kill me, but I think if it did, it would do it softly, on a humid Sunday evening, when it knows I should be in his backyard with the dog, cool emerald grass under my bare feet, a sweating cocktail glass leaving rings on the patio table. Instead, it creeps after me and finds me curled up on the couch at my home. I am restlessly reading, watching X Files, talking with my siblings, trying to make a life without the back roads to Red Barn and Sunday suppers and Blue Ribbon ice cream. Memories fill the room suddenly, tiny fragile things, butterfly wings unfolding, thin as gossamer and colored like diamonds. I used to be the keeper of the butterflies. Now they are uncontrolled, landing on my hands and shoulders, and for a moment I cannot breathe.
Then my father walks into the room and scatters them on the air, the grim specter of heartbreak chased away by his familiar face. I am no longer a memory keeper, just a sorrowful daughter, a reader with a loving father. Summer Sundays will get easier. I am not sure I’m stronger, but I think I am becoming wiser.