and other sorts of washing away.
We've been watching the rain fall outside. Driven inward by the sort of sloppily falling bits of sky. Like shoppers on city streets forced into stores, they would otherwise not go into, but for the abrupt downpour. And I find myself nervously eyeing the shelves of this place, wondering if there might be something of value I should pick up and finally pay for and take with me as a courtesy, perhaps, for the being here when I needed a place to duck into. And there they are. I adjust my eyes and squint into the darker corners and see the shelves upon shelves of things tucked away. And that rain just won't stop. It's incessant. And determined. And I see something. There. Towards the back. It's old and tired and familiar. And I reach for it.
It's a sort of strange thing to open a memory that you know belongs to you but doesn't really seem to belong in your life, presently. It's maybe even more strange, I suppose, to pack them away at all, knowing that they'll wait there until you come to deal with them, to sort them all out. And all the while you're moving on and somehow knowing, still, that there they are.
Charlie and I met when I was twenty one and were married just before I turned twenty three. We were young, but not too young. Mature but, also, so completely immature. And we were hopeful. We were so very hopeful. And then I miscarried. And the bits of me that I was holding together seemed to wash away all at once.
I dreaded getting the call just a few months into our marriage that I had been assigned a flight to Las Vegas and would be away for a few days. A couple days away wouldn't be such a horrible ordeal, normally, but I was all kinds of "nearly second trimester" hormonal and was struggling hard with a sort of social anxiety that made any sort of flight attendant duty seem all kinds of silly. "Coffee, tea?... a place to hide?". I cried into Charlie's chest. I didn't want to go, something was wrong or at least wasn't right. I convinced myself it was me, it often is.
And then I bled. Before takeoff. And during landing. While pointing out the emergency exits. Six in all, looking all sorts of appealing, their being exits for emergencies, and such. But there was no getting off, really. There were meal services and movies and beverage carts and little babies doing so well on long drawn out flights to swoon over and passengers to make comfortable and to fetch pillows for and coworkers with pointless stories to listen intently to and all the while a distracted sort of losing my baby and the bits of myself that seemed to matter most.
And then it rained. Like now. But then. Except with no place to safely duck into, no hiding place. Just a sort of feeling every drop beat out its rhythm against your skin. And a having to learn to walk through it with the bits that aren't washed completely away.