{Excerpt} Love You Like the Sky: Introduction

July 15, 2010

Date: July 27th, 2009

Subject: Hi- Test Run

Dear John,

I want to tell you the story of us, from my perspective, before it fades somewhere into the memories of all the years to come. I’m sure you already know my version of the story- every nuance of emotion and every thought that has ever washed through my body, but I want to write it down, put it into words and send it out to you. I can’t let myself forget a single moment. I have to document it all. I know not to expect a reply from you; I have no hope of that. Yet still I write.

It’s really hard to begin. I started writing two weeks ago- thought I could mimic something akin to Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. Not quite. As I sat in the Rose Reading Room at the 42nd street library, the process of putting down that day at the hospital had tears streaming down my face the whole time as I continually blew my nose with thin crispy toilet tissue. It was painful and excruciating to relive those memories in such detail.

Afterwards, I immediately bought a pack of cigarettes and smoked. It was raining while I smoked, but not hard enough to require an umbrella.  I felt broken again, drained, and like a pile of wet laundry. The cigarette was a comfort for all I’ve lost and all I’d just dragged myself through emotionally. I know you wouldn’t like me smoking. Now I’m sure you don’t care, but I remember when we were at a party at Dan’s house and I had a couple of puffs of his herbal cigarette. You thought it was a real one and gave me such a condemning look- like I was a leper. Of course your condemning look, with your big eyes and upper lip curling into that boyish smile, still looked sweet and loving. I think you were more shocked than judgmental. It was darling, as usual.

I don’t even know if your email address still works. Maybe your mom now oversees your Yahoo account, assuming somehow she managed to get a hold of your username and password. I guess I’ll find out when I send this out into the void of cyberspace.

I love you always,

Sarah

Date: July 30th, 2009

Subject: On a Plane Leaving New York

John,

Yes. Your email account still works; my last email didn’t bounce back. So I’ll continue to write to you, if only for myself.

I’m sitting on the plane on my way back to California. It’s been a vitalizing trip home, and I’m sad to go back, yet couldn’t possibly continue pumping myself through the city. I’ll miss the energy, the creativity, the humor, and my dear friends and family. As I was sitting at JFK waiting to board, the old, familiar, melancholic ache began. The missing of you.  I wish I knew why airports stir up such grief. Every time I’m at the airport I search for you. I imagine I see your light blue jeans, catch a glimpse of your striped polo shirt, see the edge of your sneaker, your curls… and then there you are walking towards me. I search and search to the point where my eyes start to strain, like if I stare long enough maybe my eyes can materialize you out of thin air. This is a hope I hold only at airports. You never appear. Disappointment, again. And as I turn my head from the crowd, I resent my life for not being a stupid Hollywood film where these things just happen.

The ache moved to my throat and waits impatiently to come out through tears. I can feel it building, I know it’s building.

Traveling with you was a delicious feeling- like we were encapsulated in a bubble, floating through arbitrary space. We melted into each other like liquid, be it when we parked in the corner of the noisy Vegas airport and read Eckhart Tolle together, or when we passed through security in Amarillo, Texas. As I put my sneakers back on, I noticed the floor had sparkles in the tile. I stood up, looked at you standing behind me, and felt so completely at home. The terminal was cold and air-conditioned. You were warm as you lay in my lap on the empty row of chairs and napped. Remember how we’d almost always miss our flights because we would get so comfortable wherever we were and so absorbed in our own world? We seemed to forget the very reason we happened to be at the airport.

I cried through take off. I let myself float back in my seat, closed my eyes and surrendered to the pressure. Only once we were up in the air did I open my eyes.

I realize I’m seated between four couples, each one cuter than the next. I sit alone in the aisle seat and watch these couples out of the corner of my eye. The couple in my row on my immediate left is from Spain; they’re watching the in-house movie, some Julia Roberts flick. The one to my right is working quietly on a crossword puzzle while she nurses a glass of wine and he sips a can of Amstel Light. The woman in the row in front and to the right is wearing a winter hat and is curled up in her husband’s lap. I feel orphaned on the aisle.

I think back to the other night at a bar on the Upper West Side.

“Do you have a boyfriend?” Israeli Girl Number 1 had asked.

“Are the boys in California cute?” Israeli Girl Number 2 asked.

“No I don’t have a boyfriend. And… um, yeah, the boys in California are cute,” I said.

“How old are you?” They inquired.

“Thirty,” I replied. And that, was the end of the questions about boys.

I miss you baby. I‘m in your space, meeting you halfway in the sky. Where are you?

Nobody understands.

Sarah

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2 Responses to “{Excerpt} Love You Like the Sky: Introduction”

  1. Nyla said

    These excerpts are powerful, personal, engaging, and making me want to read the rest of the book!

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