Thursday, February 5, 2009

This isn't what the post is about, but I just wanted to let everyone know that Scott Daly rules... both as a friend AND as a dad!

Love that guy...

In other news:

The theme for the upcoming BackfencePDX is The Moment After.

When I was given this theme, I thought of a million things and I was having a hard time narrowing down what exactly I’d write on. I’m an old pro at “The Moment After.” The moment after anything the world always seems clearer… like somehow there was a bomb that went off and wiped out everything. A lot of times it’s very much like a bomb went off.

Like the moment after I woke up from the “procedure.” Let’s call it what it really was, it was an abortion. I was 17 and it was my first encounter with “the moment after.” I remember feeling high still from the anesthesia. I remember that the last thought that had gone through my mind was a very numb “Oww…” from the needle feeding the IV that was now being used for the anesthetic. I also remember a profound sense of relief upon waking because it was over, because I had made a decision and now came only the consequences. I was not ready for those consequences or how they would alter me and affect that silly girl that had thought, “That would never happen to me.”

That moment after was when I learned that choices might be hard, but sometimes the consequences, the psychological change that can come of it, are much more altering than you would have ever thought possible… and you had better be damn ready to face them.

The moment after I figured out that I was in love with one of my close friends I finally knew where I was going and the floor had gone out from under me. No. More than that, I knew more about myself than I thought I had, all in that one instant. I learned that I was spontaneous, that I was capable of mistakes but they were correctable (kind of hard to correct, but still possible to do) and that I still had a lot to learn. I also discovered that whether or not the relationship worked, I had to leave John because I was definitely not in love with him. What was I going to do about my husband?

That’s what happens the moment after, you realize the mistakes you’ve made and that you’re probably going to make a lot more.

The moment after I told John that the marriage was over, I felt whole, if shaky. I had finally seen that all the fights, all the crying, and the countless times I had to do it all by myself had turned into this statement: “I’m not doing this by myself anymore.” Never had I known so exactly what I had to do, and when the word “divorce” came into my head, it literally shook me; I thought maybe there had been a tremor that came from deep under my feet and not from my heart. The dissolution of a marriage, even if it’s to the wrong person, is still a bond that has to be rent asunder and one’s heart will always bear those marks. We always carry scars, to remind us of where we were and what we have survived.

The moment after helps you see the truth that was always right there in front of you. However, it also shows you the muscle that has formed around the foreign object placed there, and that, that muscle is your heart.

The moment after I learned that the boyo was not, as previously tested, HIV positive, I thought that the world had turned brighter, that the colors were more vivid. More than that, though, I thought, “Is this really happening?” I had wished a child’s wish, hoping that it had all been a dream, that there was some new cure, some … something. Instead I was granted a miracle, for lack of a better term, in the guise of a clinic that was shut down for bad lab results. I not only had confirmation that I had made the right decision, but I had time. Apparently, the two of us together were a force to be reckoned with.

The moment after is when you realize that sometimes others make mistakes too, and like in monopoly, the bank error this time is in your favor.

The moment after anything is not only the crux of the story, it is also the lesson and the heart of it. I still like to think of it as standing in a desert after the bomb blast because, although nothing’s ever the same again, it is done and this is your new reality. Good or bad, whether you survived it, barely survived it or miraculously survived. The moment after is a confession; a sigh of relief and mainly it’s when we get to know who we really are.

My darling Mlle_Aubergine got tickets for the upcoming Backfence PDX on the 18th of February (that's a Wednesday, kids... and the day after I get my hair cut). Have you gotten yours???

Think of it like This American Life, but live... and in Portland for Portland. There are also submitted stories at the BackfencePDX website about the theme and you can see which topic I finally decided to wax poetic on.

Click the pic to see the stories there and to point you to where to get your tickets. I guarantee you'll have an AWESOME time.


thedr9wningman said...

Your link to Scott left something to be desired: a valid link. You forgot the http://. Crafty buggers like me can figger it out on our own; grey hairs, though...

I used to have a band called 'the mourning after' for most of the reasons that you listed. That and it was a joke on my own spelling conventions and gothiness.

Ceci Virtue said...

WEIRD! I remember cutting and pasting it in... perhaps I somehow erased the "http://" part.

I like that! The mourning after. I love it in all its implications.

I see you got your ticket.
YAY! This will be fun :)