I am not sure who I am, this morning.

The face in the mirror, a different one than the one that greeted me yesterday.

The book is finished.

Oh, not finished-finished. Still one last top-to-toe polishing to go, with all the comforts and tribulations attendant on that process. But finished it is. At 1:30 yesterday afternoon.

I called my dearest Mary, sobbing. Could have sobbed to myself as I’d set out to do. But Smarter Lynn knew that Better Mary would have the right ears and the right thoughts to keep me from drowning in myself. And she did, of course. She offered the two words that grounded me instantly; found me a steadier place to stand:

Grocery list.

Let’s hear it for sanity. There is a real world out there, after all.

This will be a hard day. Tomorrow will be harder still. I have found my transcendent ending. But not for them, not for me. My peeps, the written ones: They have fallen out of love with me. I have not fallen out of love with them.

As in a death, the first days, weeks, year are unbearable. After that, it gets better, without one ever noticing how one progressed from that place to this. I will find that place by heading back up the same ladder to that high diving board that got me where I am right now. I will ceremonially open the new notebook. I will open my heart and let my characters find me. I will re-teach my head the same lessons of curiosity and patience that I’ve taught myself over and over for the last months. I’ll take a moment to re-explore beauty. And maybe clean out the utility room.

But right now, all I feel—all I am—is sadness. For the end of the affair. For the end of the unquestioned certainty of who I was for a while.

I loved that place I was. I will, shall, find another place to love.

But not yet. Not quite yet. I have some weeping to do first. Some sad songs to listen to. Some walks in the rain, if I can find an agreeable cloud. And then. And then. We’ll see.

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