I wrote this on December 29, 2012, on an afternoon when I was supposed to be working on my book. It came out in an effort to get something, anything on paper. After I wrote this another few hundred words came tumbling out onto the page, a messy heap, but a heap nonetheless that I was able to clean up and make use of. This draft was saved and closed “Untitled,” stashed away in a folder that I stumbled across yesterday in another fit of wordless, aimless distraction. I had forgotten about it, but reading it again it spoke to me. The part at the end especially, its truth as fine and sharp as a needle point.
The bass beat of the party downstairs interrupts the slow piano of an Over the Rhine song I’m trying to listen to while I write. This isn’t working, the quiet music and the staring at the blank page and trying to ignore the hubub of the neighborhood life below me, but I’m alone and have some time to write this before hubs comes home for dinner and I’m trying to accomplish something, anything, because I haven’t in awhile. I’m supposed to write about grief for this book, and instead I’ve been reading through my blog archives and cringing at bad word choices and old ways of thinking that I wish I hadn’t made public.
This is how grief feels, kind of. Like interrupting internal beats and things that don’t quite suit this person you are now, since.
2012? I won’t miss you.
2011 sucked really bad, and in a strange way, 2012 wasn’t as bad, but there are still whole months out of this year that felt like a bass beat breaking the peace and quiet I longed for. All I really wanted was to crawl into bed and wallow with the sound of a piano quietly lulling me to sleep, but when I did, I felt restless and longed to lose myself in that beat, the rhythm of life and people without a care in the world and maybe a drink in my hand to loosen all my tight joints and inhibitions.
Sometimes I got what I wanted, the piano and the bass beat. Sometimes I didn’t know what I wanted, and so I sat in the silence.
All of it – the quiet piano and the bass beat and the void of sound – hurt.
This is grief.
It doesn’t go away. It doesn’t ease. It doesn’t rest. It just shifts around the room of your inner life.