|have i mentioned i have a thing for fives?|
a familiar one, but one that i hadn't felt quite this poignantly for several weeks.
i missed my dad. so terribly.
the weather was quite cooperative in matching my mood.
the thought of sitting around the apartment just made me feel nauseous. despite the rain and my feelings, i didn't want to waste an entire day in new york city sitting on remarkably uncomfortable furniture. i also didn't want to see or talk to anyone i knew. people say they understand when you're having a bad day. but they don't. deep down, you can sense their growing frustration with your inability to "get better" over time. i've found that explaining your feelings to your friends can be the hardest part.
it's easier just not to have to.
i put on jeans and a white shirt--daring the rain to come and get me--and red lipstick. nothing offsets the redness of teary eyes quite like a bright red lip. i jumped on a bus headed up first avenue, put my headphones on, and listened to moody music as i crawled uptown. i shed a few tears whenever the lyric was particularly meaningful, or the melody particularly haunting.
oddly enough, i feel more comfortable crying in public than i do in front of people i know. it's something i've discovered about myself this summer. whenever i'm feeling like i'm just "in it", the place i feel like i most want to be is surrounded by dozens of strangers. something about going to a place that is flooded with people affords you the luxury of feeling like you are no longer obligated to interact meaningfully with your environment.
so i went to the Met.
lucky for me, through Labor Day, they offer free admission for active duty military. so for today only, with a flash of my ID, i was free to explore. i'm sure if i had gone on any other day, when i was in another frame of mind, i would have looked at all the works of art in a completely different light. but today, i kept thinking about how all the people depicted in them were dead. (and i can say that with confidence because i only went to the wings containing art from the 19th century and earlier.) i never did decide how this made me feel. i also kept thinking about all the cards i'd gotten from my dad over the years, so many of them were picked up from museum and airport gift shops as he traveled, reprints of great works by Van Gogh, Monet, and--my favorite--Kandinsky.
mostly i just missed him. he would have loved to be there with me, wandering through the galleries, hurrying through some, taking our time through the others. talking about how this one reminded us of that time... or something. he would have loved to watch the people walking through Central Park in the rain, while we were cozily tucked into a cafe. commenting on how the salad had just the right amount of dill. talking about how good the wine was. asking the servers where they were from. i just really wanted him there.
the worst part is, i remembered all over that he's not going to be here to have these experiences with me. ever again. it's easy to forget when you've lived so far away from your family for so long. you think you'll just see him at the next family gathering. or at Christmas. the hurt comes back all over again when you remember that isn't true.
i wish i had a happier way to end this post. something like, "and then i saw a butterfly, sent from heaven, and i remembered that he IS here with me". but i never saw no damn butterfly. there wasn't an angel, or a gust of wind, or anything. just the feeling that he was somewhere far away. not gone entirely, but much more far away than i wanted him to be.
the day ended with a movie, followed by dinner. both of which were really good.
but the tears have since returned, and are showing no sign of stopping any time soon.
i did manage to snap this gratuitous selfie before i lost it again. when one finds themselves having returned home with their lipstick still fully intact, a selfie in one's bedroom is absolutely necessary.
hope your Labor Day was way more bbq-and-beer than mine.