And, yes. Because I had to come back here. Lost Hills. I had not intended to come here. We had so many good times. I didn’t want them to end. Coming here was an acknowledgement it was over. And it’s over.
It’s over. Shit. I had intended to come here, triumphantly, with the road behind me and the newfound wisdom it had bestowed. I had intended to talk about the acceptance of what is unresolved. I had intended to write about the peace of resolution.
In other words, I had expected some kind of resolution on this return to Lost Hills. Whether I accept stopping, I accept moving on… All good. But not this.
The Love’s I enter seems a lot smaller that I remember. Everything is there, but bunched together. More rummagy. The hats with the Shiny bands are there. The fireball candy and beef jerky. All there. The audio books claiming “Like a Movie in Your Mind,” there. That stupid caterpillar toy with the thin fishing line that you can make crawl up your arm. Yes. It’s there. I remembered these things, and here they are.
But this is an Arby’s, not a Del Taco. And there’s a Pilot across the highway, and I know we spent some time in there, too., and I realize there is, besides remembering and forgetting…acceptance and denial, motion and stillness–there is another type of memory. It’s a difficult poetic memory, where details are concentrated and crystallized and forced together with the heat and pressure of the soul.
And this makes the poems shine. It makes the writing sparkle, the scenes unforgettable.
But when we apply it to our own memories… Especially if we diminish ourselves before our pasts and our surroundings, which so many of us do. We begin to put all the good parts of ourselves, all the good parts of our histories and our memories into the relationship we have at hand. We concentrate all that good stuff and attribute it to the love we feel for that special person, those special moments, that special connection. It is so special, we give our relationship the greatest gift we think we have.
We turn our relationship into a poem.
And then what? Sometimes I look at the work I created, all shiny and sparkly, and glowing and I cannot believe it came from me. I refuse to believe it. It’s all the setting, it’s all the inspiration, It’s all the community. It’s all their stories. It’s all their brilliance. I just write shit down about it, but it’s all them.
And I do this to my own history. I cede my identity, my self-esteem. I put everything into the Love’s I am in infusing it with any literary magic I can offer. And then I forget my own role in the result.
But now, I come in here, and think–if it looks like this now, in the daylight–out of the photoshop poetry of my memory. If it is just this–then where the heck did that other stuff come from? It wasn’t a wrong memory. It wasn’t made up. Where did that magic come from?
It must have come from me.
Me. Wow. Me.
There were many good things about what we had. But not all the good things. There were many things I could not have done without her. But that goes both ways. I am a poet, a writer. I am also a pretty magical person, and kind of neat. Let’s remember all of that goes wherever you go, girl, and that’s yours to keep no matter what, K?
I get into my beautiful Honda with my Arby’s version of the Diet Coke/lemonade I always make. Hey, maybe there was a bit of resolution here after all.
But I am not thinking of Lost Hills.
I am thinking of me.