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if ever you should need to know.

if ever you should need to know the most profound and efficient way to exhaust one's self, it is my belief that the answer is this: cry. 

further study needs to be done so as to ascertain whether it is the actual act of crying, or the often futile attempt to hold back the tears which proves more effective. 

this morning i experienced both and am thus unable to give a definitive result of my findings.  

this much i can say: this morning a i had a whopping-good cry (though i can't really say it was good). it was very public, very unexpected and unbelievably draining. i spent the remainder of my day feeling as though someone had put me through the spin cycle of a washing machine working over time. 

i infiltrated enemy territory today. enemy territory as defined by my recent past. the blackened corridors stretched long and narrow and with each step i was assaulted by tangible memories. i became a version of my six-year-old-self who saw her future and wanted to run. but i'm not six. and it's not my future. and i can't run. 

sometimes the thing that's simultaneously glorious and impossibly hard about New York is that it's a living-breathing memory book where every subway stop, every corner deli, every intersection carries the weight of a memory. 

i first fell in love at the 125th street subway station. he was reading a book. and i knew.

my first boyfriend lived off the 191st street stop. i promptly broke up with him at a diner on the corner of 69th and Broadway. 

outside of big nicks, on the corner of 71st and Columbus, is where i told he-who-shall-not-be-named that i liked him. that night i dreamt of snow and rebirth.

at the lemongrass grill on 94th and Broadway i put my knee up on the empty seat between us and he played with my hanging pony tail. he held my hand under the table. no one knew. and a secret was born.

i made a mistake on 207th street.

and sadness became my sole companion on 104th.

most of the time when i'm walking the streets of my (sometimes) beloved city i choose to remember the good things. 

this morning i had to return to school for a meeting. so laden with memories is the school that it can be hard to breathe. i've only been back the once, to see the greeks, and i was left wondering why i feared going back in the first place. today i remembered. remembered. memory. memories. i feared the memories. walking the halls at school...well, it is hard to only remember the good. the memories come so rapidly my subconscious doesn't have time to sort through them. overstimulation in the worst possible way. too many memories, too closely placed. too many land mines to avoid. sit in the same chair, feel like a student all over again. and the torrent of memories is made manifest by the torrent of tears desperately making their away across the peaks and valleys of my face. i didn't mean to cry. the tears just came. silently. 

now I am left exhausted beyond measure and wondering what I have to show for a year where, for the first time, success isn't a ready-made box for me to check off. 


Helen said...

Meg, it is so hard, isn't it? Our memories are our griefs and our stories, and we wouldn't want them to be in some separate part of ourselves, inaccessible. At the same time, our memories are friends with each other and sometimes they get together and whoop and holler and clink glasses ... and we are not in the mood to party. Not with them. Not with all of them at the same time. You fielded a tough one today, sounds like. In the morning, you might have a hangover. But come afternoon and evening, you'll have recovered mostly, and you'll roll your eyes (and maybe even laugh) and say, "Sheesh, those memories ... they sure do know how to get wild!" And you'll likely remember there are new ones you don't know as well, though you'll be better acquainted with them soon enough. Sweet ones. Ones that live in NYC, too. And they'll insist on being invited over the second it looks like a memory-bash is brewing.

Goodnight, lady. Chin up.

~*"*Dia*"*~ said...

While reading I had this unthought thought in my mind, it was more a sensation: "This girl is so lucky to have so many crucial memories. And we're nearly of the same age...". It's a paradoxal feeling. For instance, we love reading dramatic stories, we even dream of being the main character. But we surely wouldn't want to really live the action. It would be too painful. Ok, I'm writing nonsense. I think I'd better not comment...

sheila said...

if it means anything, you have such a good memory and such an eloquent way of describing your thoughts too.

..and when you need it, I'll extend my cyber-space-blogging SHOULDER to cry on. because, you're right, crying can get REALLY exhausting. But at the same time, I love a good cry. it makes me feel better after wards.

~*"*Dia*"*~ said...

I totally agree: Feeling deeply is better than having nothing to feel at all.
Please, feel free to link to anything you like on my blog ;)

miss alice in wonderland said...

i totally understand you! sometimes i get some atrabilious moments while walking though my beautiful city like yesterday! the days before where so good! sunshine, friends... whole package! but then i had to bring some dvd's back to the store and it was rainy and muddy and i felt cold and this really depressed me... and on top of it a prosche driver (torturing the gear) tried to hit on me and i would rather get hit by the tram *laugh*

what i wanted to say is... i feel you!


Alexia said...

I read a very simple line in a book once: 'a cry is an inarticulate expression of helplessness'. Such a simple, profound, sad description. Yes, crying, proper crying, is exhausting but I'm always left with a sense of really living. This might be coming out wrong! I mean to say that truly raw emotions make one feel alive, whether it be joy or sadness or anger... it's all better than feeling apathetic. I love a good cry. Also (last thing, I promise) I love the fact that there are so many different ways to cry. You can sob, weep, shed a tear... OK, there are 4 different ways I can think of!

I talk in loops, I'm sorry! It's worse in person because I get really excited and knock things over, like glasses of water or old ladies.

Hope you had the emotional equivalent of a rainbow after your cry.

...love Maegan said...

oh this is such a fantastic post. ...but back to the original question ..to cry or to hold em back ...I have found that if I just release the tears, it's like releasing the poison. If I hold back ...the anxiety and fear just build up and if I just would have cried ...I would have felt a whole lot better .

I hate to say this because it's so hard for me ...but be patient. ...and also, you're so young ...relish your youth!

Micaela said...

love this.
love you! xo

Hanako66 said...

amazing post....I can way with absolute certainty, that you will have 10 times more good memories in the city than the bad. There is so much more left for you, so cry and remember...always remember because it makes you who you are, but look forward to the future:)

Carolyn said...

HUGS and HUGS!!!

Ash said...

I know how you feel. Often, I try not to cry but it can be so much more exhausting than letting it out... but then afterward, I realize how tired I am from crying... it's odd.

It's so hard to pass by places that hold so many memories. I've only lived in one place my whole life (that will change, eventually), so I basically pass my life every day... it can be really hard. There are some places where it's really painful to go or think about, and other places it's great... but I know what you mean. I haven't been back to my enemy territory since I left. Maybe some time I'll go back. I dread it nonetheless.

Sorry this turned out SO long.

naomi megan. said...

YOU are amazing. i want to post this on my blog.

actually, can you do a guest post?

also, can i see you?

breakfast thursday or friday morning at that place you know that is so lovely???? i leave saturday :(

love you.

Sara said...

I don't really know you but stumbled across your blog while writing my own. This post touched me. Memories are funny little buggers that sneak up on us so quickly. Then while we are standing mouth open, tears dripping, purely amazed that they showed their heads, then they leave...leave us with just a trace of what it was we were remembering.

I was visited by the most bittersweet of these little memory guys last time I visited home. Driving into Houston on a Sunday afternoon I felt I should be headed to my former home, where my former boyfriend would be there doing our former laundry and I would make us dinner, cuddle, laugh and sit in the twilight together. This visual memory slammed my brain so hard it took the air right out of my lungs, brought tears into my eyes-I then quickly realized that all that is gone. No more Sunday lazy twilight evenings in Houston. They were good whlie they lasted but now are gone.

I love this new city of New York now and am making my own, brand new happy special memories.

I am also glad I came upon your blog.

Check out mine www.itswhatwhat.blogspot.com


megan said...

I just wanted you to know that I absolutely love your writings. (And I may be something of a blog stalker...)

I don't suffer from an eating disorder but I take hope from your courage in dealing with it. Your posts speak the words in my heart.

I wish you the absolute best.

Lisbeny said...

as a writer, i'm wondering how much is hidden here in plain sight... the one that stuck out to me was 191st... and then dumping him promptly at 69th and broadway. maybe i'm overthinking it but...it just feels like there's something you're trying to tell us without really telling us.