Friends are slowly growing furious. They have become undeniably two-dimensional to me, and what’s worse: they know it. Intuitively, they know. L – lifetime confidant, witty, beautiful, charming platonic L - is the only one of them that carries weight anymore; she is the only one I care to see, and it breaks my heart that I’m harboring what are more than trace amounts apathy toward these other longtime friends of mine because so many of them are wonderful people. I tell myself they no longer want me around anyway since I’ve become prosaic and faintly peevish without G (girlfriend residing in faraway impossible Wisconsin) and they’re happily allowing me to be aloof while I gather myself my previous self.
It’s not that I think it is fair to assume that it’s all mutual, just that it assuages my afflicted conscience. Ah, but I love. What do I care what these girls and boys think of my detachment if it’s only the disagreeable side effect of an exquisite love? (Still damn much.)
I’ve been trying view the summer separation from this girl as a kind of boon, functional in that it allows me to regain my former independent self (that self that I had apparently driven to the remote core of the earth unconsciously and now must find a way to retrieve) but distance from her fails spectacularly to distract me. I’ve tried everything to get my mind to swim away from her so that it can exist in shallower ponds and be blithe and free, yet behind everything she waits almost like a memory. This is nearly pleasant because memories bring her instantly back to me, painful because I am impatient for her to cease being a memory again, and irremediable because I know that it’ll happen eventually so it isn’t as if I’ve got to heal.
I’m being insufferably thespian about this, I realize. In reality, we talk on the phone every other night and I’ll see her face again on July 25th for a short vacation, so summer separation? Big deal. It’s mitigated. Yet, my feelings remain intolerable and ridiculous. They’re very Anne Sexton (minus some of the neurosis) with a pleasanter nostalgic twist of Sharon Olds.
To temper the tumult above, I’ll end on a less shrill less emotional note. My hamstrings are fraught and feel as though they’re about to snap. As in, if I were to bend to tie shoes, game over and I’m on the floor clutching and writhing. It’s all because we weeded along the perimeter of a hulking Northern field yesterday. Without hoes. Without gloves. Squatting miserably in the humidity and unobstructed sun for which I formed a pure and natural hate. I looked like an incompetent John Howard Griffin impersonator after the job had been finished, with my arms and legs caked in fine black dirt. The whiteness (well sunburnt redness) of my face probably could’ve been preserved had I not stupidly wiped the sweat off with the dirty backside of my wrist.
When I attempted to enter my house after work, my mom met me at the door with a muted shriek and demanded I let her hose me off in the lawn first. I staggered, a little drunk with heat exhaustion, to our Holstein cow sprinkler in the center of the yard while its tail flung the water about via water pressure, and my mom unhooked the hose from one of the inane little utters and sprayed my person ruthlessly. I sank down on the pelouse as she slapped my arms and legs with torrents of water, feeling more like an animal at the zoo than a tax-paying person working in the fields for income. But really she’s just a mom protecting her house from dirt, and the truth is I do love her for her domesticity, since I inherited almost none of it.