Monday, February 27, 2012

all the small things

she laid in the crook of his arm, wide awake yet half asleep.  he was somewhere between sleep and dreaming, and he’d hold her closer if she tried to move in a way she found endearing, but -also -a little heartbreaking, for surely this was how he had held his other lovers too.

she pondered this, turning it over in her mind like a geode in her fingers.  she also tried to figure out a way to escape from his embrace without waking him, but to no avail.  she fell asleep without any answers.

she had tried to hold onto her thoughts in the night, but they had slipped out, like the water through her fingers.  is that an apt analogy? she wondered as she stood over the sink.  more like, when her phone slipped out of her hand (repeatedly).  if she was out and about, it’d fall to the ground; if she was in bed, it’d thunk against her forehead.  he had the small tact to not laugh -even though it was funny, actually quite funny.  did the cavemen ever drop their clubs on their foreheads?  doubtful.

and it really was the little things, wasn’t it?  everyone made such a big deal about the (alleged) Big Things (Valentine’s! Christmas! Kwanzaa! blow out sale at [*insert name of whatever here]!), but it was really the little things -the way talk about the weather, small and insignificant that it was, was really the grout that kept society together.  if you couldn’t talk about the weather, then you had to talk about sports or politics or reproductive rights -and heaven and hell both knew such things were a dangerous morass.  better to stick with talk about the interminably poor weather -a reliable topic in almost any case.  well, because it did suck so much.

and maybe, she mused, this is the allure of the suburbs -not the suburbs themselves as a physical place -but the actual mediocrity in humanity that they had come to represent.  it is far easier to mock “the suburbs” than it is to recognize the tendency for the average in all of us, she mused some more as she opened the medicine cabinet in search of dental floss.  but, no dice -no floss.  dammit.  she really hated to go a day without flossing.

she walked in the sun outside, considering further her morning line of thought:

there’s a certain comfort in routine, in knowing if you reach for “x” you will not receive “y.”  say “x” was the person you met and you fell in love with and that you moved with to the suburbs and had children with and jobs and chores -and all these petty yet seemingly large things consumed you.  then one day you woke up and you reached for “x,” perhaps something you hadn’t done in a long while, because you were both always so tired and so always assumed that the other one would be there.  but when you reach across the bed, you are shocked -not because “x” isn’t there, but because “x” has become “y.”  this person you thought you knew has seemingly overnight become someone else.

but, so have you, not over the course of days but over the intervening weeks and months and years -the ultimate trick of time.  but this doesn’t occur to you.  all you know is that you don’t recognize the person lying next to you anymore.  and you always took such comfort in the small things; so much comfort in the routine -that you completely lost sight of the big things.  and you shouldn’t have...

...because life is about so much more than the weather.  

focus on small things chase after big things

lose sight get lost

we fall

into the crevasse

where I know you
but still
I miss you


  1. I love the last part the most:

    ...because life is about so much more than the weather.

    1. I actually wrote past this line, thought the better of it, and wrote to end with this line.