Today is the last day of summer. It’s been in the air for awhile. The lightning storms, heavy rains, dark clouds. From here to December 21, the days will grow shorter, the nights longer. It will be dark when we go to school, and dark when we come home. This darkness, this time of year, has always been difficult for me. It started in my mid-20s, when I stopped playing ice hockey, which usually would start at this time of year. I started playing when I was five, so to suddenly not play was a strange experience of loss that I still feel at this time of year. Later, though, other difficult events, age and consequence, lost connections and relationships, breaking engagements and marriages, my Mom’s illnesses, lost opportunies and people in my life leaving an empty, cold, dark feeling inside to match the weather. The seasons change and so do I.
I’ve heard it called S.A.D., seasonal affective disorder. Less light, colder temperatures, nostalgia for people and places and events as the passage of time and seasons of life sink into a deeper, quieter, darker place inside. Memories of the beach days and warm rays of sun and smiles on the faces I’ve loved. Even those days alone at El Saler, July 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 22, 26 and August 3. (I kept a journal), even those days had hope and sunshine and running and affirmations of life. Now, flowers fading in the sharp, crisp air as the sun sets on summer and shadows grow longer, those summer days sink into long, dark shadows. Oh, those long, dark shadows, as the sun sets on summer.
Now it's morning. Before sunrise. Alone in the dark.
Lost and left behind.
I dreamt of her. Again. It happens all the time. She spoke to me. The sound of her voice, saying my name. "yes?" I replied. "nothing. I just like to say your name."
We were in an industrial place, like a factory, with tall iron columns and poles, like beneath the bleachers of an old stadium, or maybe it was a train station. Or the kitchen from another century. She stood at a large, flat, marble table. She was preparing a chicken for our dinner. There were spices and bottles on the table. I came up some stairs, seeing her through the iron railing, knowing it was her. Then she said my name. She came to me from around the table. So vivid now, so real, this dream. Her striped shirt, her long, elegant body. Her hair. Her feet. I was wearing some athletic clothes, and said, "I've been riding my bike." she said, "You look great. Be happy." I said, "I'm going to change." I moved toward a brick wall, near a dark, leather sofa. I put my backpack down and took out a blue, denimn jacket. I turned around and she was right in front of me. Close enough to kiss.
I woke up, heart beating. And have been awake since. Breathing in, here, out, now.
Afraid of my self.
My subconscious, my truth, so strong. My disguises so thin. Planning all the me's I'll pretend to be today.
Awake and alone in the dark, with memories and heartbreak.