There have been leaping jellybeans inside me. They made me move in ways I’ve never bent before. They made my heart ba-boom to the stars and back. They clenched my lungs into raisins. They compelled me to do things. Important things. Sporadic things. They are magic beans. Not Jack’s beans. My beans.
Beginning January 1st, I felt this passionate, sickening desire to be away from home. To change. To try new things.
I thought New York could cure me in March. But my breath didn’t board the flight I had purchased only 36 hours before. The air was missing in Washington Square and Tribeca and on the subway into Sunset Park. Those damn beans pummeled my lungs.
I thought that maybe I could find it, my air, in Miami. On a beach with sand as white as my pale, pale skin, I embarked on a mission to banish a fear. I dunked my head underwater, in the ocean, down in those depths. I shut my eyes and held my muffled breath and submerged. This may not sound like much to you, but I swear it is of great magnitude to me – a woman, a girl, who felt great tremors of panic come over me as each wave hit my torso. Something about being in wide open water teeth-chatters my entire body. It always has.
I continued. Deeper. Until I was in to my neck. The power of the water controlled me. The waves came heavy and fast. I was under its influence. Without noticing, I realized the current had pushed me yards down the beach. Three or four yards, at least – it was a football field. I panicked. But it was an excited panic. An “I can do this” panic. I was euphoric fighting my way back to the beach, my thighs burning with exertion. I thought this would thump my breath into being, like a blue baby coming out of the womb and catching its first gulps. But back on the beach chair, anxiety shriveled my lungs again.
I lost my crystal necklace in Miami. I am quite sure it occurred whilst dirty dancing. You know, during the friction of bodies grinding together. I discovered the loss at 3am or so as I removed my jewelry and clothes to jump in a moonlit pool. I was, at first, annoyed. A more muted reaction than expected when you realize a favourite piece of jewelry is missing. Later, my dear friend explained that crystals hold energy. And I lost it for a reason. And it was releasing something I didn’t need anymore. It was a cleanse. I said goodbye to something. My breath returned right there in the elevator to our room.
But back in Vancouver, I was still restless.
I fought with myself. I tried to find things that would snap me into sanity.
That’s why I flew to New York on a whim. That’s why I dunked my head. That’s why I cut off all my hair. That’s why, that’s why, that’s why.
And when my landlord sold my apartment, I stuffed all my possessions into storage and left Vancouver on a one-way ticket to maybe forever, for awhile.
I’ve been here, in Toronto, for a week. I have felt unsettled and in limbo and unsure. The anxiety loomed over the excitement. I felt sick after eating. I couldn’t swallow the rock in my throat. I thought I made a mistake.
Until tonight. On this 18th day of the 8th month with the full moon hooked on a peg in the sky. Eights are lucky, don’t you know.
Again, I did something I’ve never done before. But this time, it was peaceful, mindful, not something to shock or scare me. I went to a Buddhist temple for a guided meditation and discussion on mindfulness. I settled my insides. I realized that extreme action wasn’t my golden ticket to inner peace. Happiness was already there amongst the noise. The noise just had be shushed, put to bed, lulled to sleep. Damn it. It was so easy all this time. Guys, those Buddhists are on to something.
I felt high after that class. My smile gave me stretch marks. I walked through the residential streets like I was on puppet strings. I landed at a bar. A restaurant. A place that was full and only had room for one. The host scrutinized me with a steely eye, “Are you sure it’s just you?” Yes, sir. Just me. Happy me.
I sat at a bar. Not “the” bar. But a side bar, against the wall. This particular bar was cloaked in rippled wood. It climbed the walls and spiderwebbed across the ceiling. I wanted to run my fingers through the rivers of the wood. So slowly. To feel its exotic heart. I sat there, touching the wall, like it were a dog at my feet. Nonchalantly. Petting. I couldn’t stop. And I didn’t care who saw me in this tantric state. The tree was voluptuous like a woman. Fashioned for Gaudi. The whole scene was glorious. If Romeo and Juliet were to have a second death, they should stage it there, amongst the curves. My glass bled dew onto the wood. Or was it the wood secreting fluid from the touch of my hand?
I am me again. I am alive. I am inspired. I am whole. I think me and Toronto will be friends.