I’ve been feeling lonely lately, a hollow fist of ache right to the left of my sternum. The weird middle school sports coach in my head says I should try to walk it off and so I go up Mason and down seventh. I cross Killingsworth and make my way to Skidmore to sit at the Bluffs, a thick rectangle of land overlooking the Willamette River and Forest Park plus some industrial waste land complete with train tracks and smoke plumes. I sit, listening to a song I used to love that I can’t find feeling for anymore. I switch to a podcast about how to run a successful business and I grow irritated with the terms “girl boss”, “dream client”, and “six figures”. I put on an audiobook and laugh a little (Samantha Irby is fucking funny) but then a new essay starts and I can’t find the hook. I switch my phone off and then I turn it back on because when it’s off I just feel…strange. Like how do I occupy myself/know what direction to go in/record my thoughts before I forget them without my phone?
People are making out around me and it makes me feel a tremendous mix of voyeuristic pleasure and weird shame, because I am totes being a looky lou and I think probably these people are enjoying a moment where the only thing that really exists is just the two of them. I turn my audiobook back on and I’m having trouble paying attention.
Today is the summer solstice. On my walk home I remember that just a week previous Carrot and I discovered the rosiest smelling rose bush in the entire world. I spend a lot of time deeply sniffing the roses of Portland and it seems important to sniff the best one on this first day of a new season. After the roses I go to my favorite strawberry patch and eat until I have a strawberry blood beard and my stomach hurts. I pick Carrot a bouquet of lavender and maybe weeds and decide to put it on my windowsill since I can’t give it to her. Carrot is in Alaska and I miss her so much it’s physically painful.
A couple of years ago I decided that I was maybe a witch. A weird thing happened when I set my intentions to something that felt like perhaps my concentrated effort and energy made shit come to fruition. I’d been to massive amounts of therapy and group treatment and outpatient and doctors and nutritionists and personal trainers and specialists, but the only thing that made me actually stop throwing up my food and understand that I just needed to fucking eat was that I wrote affirmations and gratitude lists every morning and it, like…changed my brain. Did this mean I was some kind of magic? I mean I guess it *was* magic for me, and maybe that’s kind of all that matters. (Incidentally, I tried hard to get into crystals and candles and traditional style ritual and spell work but none of it worked for me like writing did. I don’t know why I have to believe that writing is magic– it kind of embarrasses me tbh– but what can you do?)
Today none of the things I thought would make me feel good worked and so I decided I’d hike the Washington section of the PCT. Again, I don’t know why exactly, but I also don’t know why anyone does anything, so I trust the instinct. I own a business that I work at sixty hours a week for approximately zero dollars per month. I am going through a divorce that is logistically, emotionally, and financially incredibly taxing. I zombie through food and sleep and work and think about writing but do not write because I am so exhausted I don’t even know what I would say.
Writing is my magic and I can’t really write. I also can’t really leave, but I have to fucking leave, so I’m going to have to figure it out anyway.
Logistics be damned.