Three Mexican men are talking in voices that sound like music, the smell of their strong coffee wafting over to me, and even though it's far too late, I crave a refill on my own cup.
Catching their words. Wishing I'd finished Spanish.
Watching people in the reflection of the windows that look out across the parking lot, little mirages of humans, like when you turn the opacity really low in photoshop and can see the layer beneath showing through.
Laughing into my books at text messages. Shoulders. Shaking. Face. Covered.
Making a fool of myself in public as per usual.
Have you ever realized that there is such a fine line between your movements when you are laughing or crying? The same shoulder wracking, face reddening, sounds of a person who is feeling.
Thanksgiving. And the weeks leading up to it and following after it.
I have felt this distinct numbness around my soul that I cannot describe.
As if I am an actor in my own life. A spectator, watching my family during the holidays.
Their laughter and stories and quiet triumphs. Felt hollow.
Without rawness there aren't any words that I can write that come out sounding real.
They are like the glue that you encourage to dry on your fingers, just so you can peel this paper thin carbon copy of your fingerprint. Those words are fragile, flimsy.
Two weekends ago I sat on the edge of my worn red velvet seat, holding my breath. Waiting for the music to start. The theater was beautiful, the ceilings high. Something out of a different century.
When Vonnegut and F. Scott still wrote books and people went dancing at ballrooms, men with their newsboy caps, charming eyes, women with pin curls and coy smiles.
Ray LaMontagne came out onto the stage. His music was like a prayer. His guitar reached down and started the numbness thawing, like the bright sun in March melts snow off of asphalt, water vapor rises like mist, catching the sunlight.
His speaking voice was beautiful. How do you describe a speaking voice? He spoke like he sings.
Like every word that leaves his lips is a wish. He struck me as a person that understand loneliness.
And how it feels to be afraid and want to hide from the things that are too scary to explain.
Like Rock and Roll and Radio.
This song, which I had never heard until that night, made me cry, sitting there in all awash in wonder.
"Are you still in love with me?
Like the way we used to be?
Or is it changing?
Does it deepen over time
Like the river that is winding through the canyon
Are you closer for the tears, or has the weight of all these years left you hollow?"
Slowly the shell is coming off. I'm learning to feel alive again. It's a slow process.
These next few months are going to change my life dramatically. I want to become new.
Feeling alive seems like an important first step.
Also, I'm in the process of writing a lengthy "Year in review". I encourage you all to do the same.
I want to hear about your years, and the changes that have come to your life.
Your stories are so important to me, and so are your comments.
The top photo was just me playing with my camera's self timer. They all came extremely out of focus.
My guitar playing is really bad, just so you know. I've just been trying to learn Like Rock and Roll and Radio. The photos are for Sam, who requested them. Also, justsoyouknow, I usually reply to comments.
Love from Jillian.