I am trying to remember what it feels like to write.
Pen to paper, fingers on keys, a soft click, click, click. The hum of the dishwasher, light through the curtain, sorting through boxes of static in my brain. I make it through a few words, a sentence; someone cries out from a bedroom upstairs. Outside the February sunshine is warming frozen pavement. Through my windows, all I can see is glistening snow.
For the past 5 years, I've been trying to remember what it feels like to write. Where is my pen, hand me that journal, what did I do with that book that contains every piece of my mind? Do you remember what it feels like when your soul is brimming with sharp vowels, and then to vomit, sweet relief, blood splattered pleasantly on the paper.
For the past 5 years, I've been figuring out how to lose myself. I look in the mirror sometimes and wonder, where have I gone, where did I go? I remember a piece of myself that I lost once in January, bright bulbs screwed into a ceiling, a tiny baby placed in my arms, all 5 ounces.
I lost an arm that time in November, I left it in a hospital room, in an isolette, with a soft baby named Nora. Whole pieces of my soul reside up a mountain, in an office, under a sprawling blue sky. I think I left organs under a chair in the waiting room, that time I came to learn about Autism. Look for me, if you ever find yourself there. I'm missing a lung, a shoulder, whole chunks of fleshy, beating heart.
I am trying to remember where I discarded those pieces of my brain, on nights when all I could carry was the weight of the small child in my arms, hot and sweaty from furried sleep, and asking for a sippy cup. I can remember shoveling out bits of anxious stomach, and making more space to file tiny complaints and requests. I can see myself in the middle of February, a furious pile of children at my toes, cutting off slices of my long, tangled hair, and placing the strands in a drawer, walking away uneven. For a while.
I am trying to remember how I got here, where I am going. I am weeding through the nap schedules, and the Tylenol doses, and all the recipes I know by heart. I am looking for that girl, flat on the pavement, under a hot July sky. I am listening to her laugh, examing the lines of her smile, the space between her eager fingers, the words glistening through her brain, like hot lava bubbling up and then out.
I am remembering her on car rides, alone, up a Mountain. I am watching her brown eyes fixed on something in the horizon; trees, soil, earth, roots. I am cracking open her brain and carving out some space for tomorrow. I am clawing my way through the weeds, past the thorny bushes, I am looking for her under the Aspens, in the corner of the quiet pink sky. I am finding her with dirt under her fingernails, half of a gorgeous, ripe, heart, and slivered, tender scars just above her soft thighs.
Only this I remember: she loves to write.