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winter commences

November 28, 2003

every year in the fall a sadness settles in and roots itself in me for a couple of months. this has been happening for maybe five years now. things generally improve in january. but it is starting later than usual this year, i'm not sure whether that will affect the ending.

now it feels just like last fall. the day after thanksgiving. i had decided to separate from her a couple weeks earlier, we weren't breaking up yet (that didn't come until the first week of february) but we weren't seeing each other or even talking at all. i brought her to the two thanksgiving dinners i went to (one at betsy's with tofurkey and music scene people, one more traditional at judy's with family and games), i didn't want her to spend the holiday alone in her bleak little apartment sitting on the floor watching television. and i just remembered that before the dinners we took a bike ride, we rode from my apartment to my new office, the company had moved and she had never seen the new building i worked in every day, and that seemed so strange and wrong to me. i needed to show her my desk.

thanksgiving seems an appropriate day to make that sort of exception. we did it again on christmas day, another one-day break in the separation. and oh she looked beautiful, and oh i wanted her to stay, wanted her in my bed. but we both knew better. and oh the hug goodnight in my little east bay apartment on the hill, holding and tears. i was so afraid to let go that day, and how i missed her the day after. always afraid to let go of her.

other years it was about being cut off from my family. the years they didn't contact me, didn't try, didn't return letters. didn't want to remember me, i thought. even that turned out to be good in some ways. and things are better with them now. and real. but still the feeling is there. some memories you know will be with you forever because they are part of you now, they are stitched into you and you make your peace with them but run your fingers over them now and then, remember how it felt when they were new.

it all seems so different this year, the flat in the city, the new friends, new job, new life. i haven't spoken to her in months. but in some ways not different at all...that same sad feeling is here. i realize of course that i did the right thing, that missing her presence does not mean that i miss the relationship. i realize that it is more fundamental even than just missing david (though i do miss david, usually in the background but sometimes with clenching throat and a sharp sick feeling in my stomach like right now). i don't even know where he is today. he is totally unreachable now, and maybe that like all the rest will in time prove itself to be all right.

these are the things i stuff deep into my pockets or at the back of drawers i almost never open. but at this time of year they clamor to be let out, they come alive and remind me of how bad it has been. i know of course that in most ways it is better now than it has been in a long time. that knowledge is bittersweet. so many hurts and comforts lost in the past, i could never get back there even if i wanted to. it is hard to pick apart the bits that were beautiful from the rest, and so i simply miss it all.