In My Secret Life

Monday came and pushed out the sunshine. Echoes of the weekend’s intimacy faded into weekday anomie, and, by nightfall, I was lonely once more.

It was past the hour for a proper meal. I had queried every flavor in the pantry and none had stood up and danced for me. Resigned to the discontent that travels in the wake of unlimited choice, I pecked at fresh fruit and cheese and flipped on the TV. My dog, seeing no potential for scrumptious handouts, gave up completely and called it an early night. And, after a couple episodes of “Six Feet Under” and a dose of righteous melancholy, I too succumbed to the barometric pressure and headed for bed.

Shucking off my clothes, I shoved my hand into my jeans pockets and found an engraved, silver heart–a memento left there to remind me that I’m loved, even if only by an unseen force. I smiled and rubbed its smooth edges and measured its small heft in my palm, fascinated by how some things can be so real and yet so intangible.

Still, the bed felt too big and the empty spaces too confining, crowding me with insecurities on all sides. And, by the time I woke, my beloved had visited and slipped off again. Teetering on the edge of morning consciousness, between the worlds of the sacred and the profane, I tried to stitch together the opposites of my life and, like so many mornings before, my thoughts unraveled into confusion. Yet, standing later at the kitchen counter, stirring the breakfast bowl, I was struck by an image of myself as a character on a movie screen, frozen in time, listening forever intently, as if for her own wistful soundtrack, hoping that the camera won’t pan away just yet because it is this one pose, this one peculiar mood that links her pigtails and ribbons, her worn-out shoes, her mothballed prom dresses, her passport stamps, her degrees on the wall, her proud, grey hairs, and every well-meaning act of generosity scattered amongst friends and family to the thing that’s about to happen.

In the background, Leonard Cohen sings

I saw you this morning.
You were moving so fast.
Can’t seem to loosen my grip
On the past.
And I miss you so much.
There’s no one in sight.
And we’re still making love
In my secret life.
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