Hard to believe that that this is the last full week of July, and that Labor Day is in exactly six weeks. I survived my first year out of college, hit six months at my first full-time job, and made it to a very special one month. Time has been a big theme in my life lately, time spent with others, time speeding up and slowing down, time to crush it. Much has changed in the last year, and even more in the last six months. 2013 keeps me guessing at every turn, and being 22 adds to the magic and agony of feeling happy, free, confused and lonely in the best ways.
Well, maybe I’m not so lonely any more. But that’s another story for another time.
I’ve been reading and reworking some of my old writing to get myself back in gear for my grad school hopes, and I came across this piece in the recesses of my Evernote notebooks. It’s very much a work of fiction, but stitched together from the bits and pieces of heartbreak and heartache that my ladyfriends and I have experienced. It’s taken a little over a year for it to age well enough to taste smooth and not-so-bitter on the tongue, but I’m pleased with the words as they are. It’s ready to be bottled.
SEASONS, by Gabrielle Gulo
I fell asleep with your name on my lips, the taste of you on my tongue. From five thousand miles away, I could smell the pungent scent of your shampoo, could feel the dried tangle of your hair.
You haunted me, clung to me in the months I was away. We were winter people, but to me you were a summer boy, smiling and fading in the hazy Manhattan sunset. I thought I was spring, flighty and playful, a sunny disposition never too cool to care. But winter clings to us, chills us by degrees. We seek heat in the cold months, search for sparks to ignite flames.
That night I sought nothing, expected nothing. I was autumn falling into winter, turning away from short-lived warmth and looking for constancy. Nothing stood in my way, not even the memory of summer you.
When I think of the party, and the sangria, and the whiskey burning in my throat, I see bright orange lights reflected in wet, tinsel-littered streets and you, standing closer than ever. I remember your lips pressing firm against mine, the breathless shock that you were there and I was here and you were kissing me.
You made me feel small, tiny, utterly female against the hard litheness of your body lying above mine. I felt drunk, high, on pleasure and you. There was the newness of you who was not so new, the unexplored body of a known person. There were others before you, and there were others after you, but no one quite like you.
Other boys stumbled into my life and I let them stay, just for a little while. I wondered what it would take for you to remember me. What it would take for me to forget you.
In this city of crowds and chance meetings, I thought of you. I saw you on every corner, breathed you in on muggy August nights. But you are a winter boy stubbornly playing at summer. The spring of your youth has given way to fall, and still you stay stagnant, a grasshopper singing and singing and storing nothing for the cold.
Your songs will not save you.