I dressed for mid-October, though it is mid-November, and I’ve found myself in mid-May. I have excused myself from my desk – a place where seasons have no meaning except during those first and last two minutes of the day when we add or remove layers – because my walk to the train indicated an opportunity to sit and read in the park. And so, here I am. Sitting in the park, autumn sun filling me like water does to a parched sponge. I think of you because I always think of you and because I am warm, a feeling I have come to associate with being in your arms.
For the last couple of weeks, I have been reading a love story, of which my opinion wavered in and out of favor. Today, warm and reading the final chapters, I am immersed. The story has become inseparable from our own. That a year ago today I was taking in the same sounds of crushed leaves and the same spectrum of burnt fall colors, and also the first taste of you, the first feel of your arm holding my frame to your chest, the first blurry gaze of you asleep on my pillow, probably has a lot to do with why I can’t stop imagining this day as if you were by my side.
I am calm for the first time all month. Blissfully calm. Stomach-completely-pit-free calm. I am outside of myself, hovering above everything, detached from my life and my worries and my uncertainty. I am both wholly present and wholly absent. I sit and observe my surroundings, breathe them in, bear witness to life unfolding. I am lost in the beauty of the scene – the soft afternoon light filtering through the not-yet-bare branches and reflecting off the wake of the ducks and geese eager to rescue crumbs and crusts from their certain drowning.