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Sunday, September 10, 2006

take a deep breath

My kitchen glows under yellow lighting. Leaning against the counter, my roommates talk and laugh with each other, but I can’t keep track of the conversation. My mind is elsewhere, I’m not sure where.

I grab a candle, break open the kitchen door, and step outside. The air’s cool tonight, and I lean back on the railing of the old steel balcony. Stairs and balconies creep up the side of the building and the red brick building across the alley. The sky is dark navy and the moon glows somewhere behind the building. I have nerves crawling up and down my spine, and light a cigarette with the small candle in my hand. I inhale to find myself flooded with memories.

Suddenly he’s back in my bed, tipping ashes into my ashtray, smiling at me. I worry he’s going to spill on my pristine white sheets. I smile back, but my stomach is in knots. I can’t help but wish our relationship had more substance. It’s obvious I don’t love him, and even though his eyes are sinking into me, I know he doesn’t love me either. We’re too young to be in love. And yet still, I can’t stand the thought of his body being away from mine. I crave him, need him, and keep wanting him closer. He finishes his cigarette, kisses me, grabs his clothes from the floor and heads out the door. I watch him walk down the street from my window.

It hurts to think about certain people. Some memories hold too much emotion, and it all comes back at once: the love, sex, laughter, nervousness, tears, words, and of course, the pain that comes with it. It makes me weak. I want to be stronger than all of that. I want to need myself, and only myself. But at the end of the day I’m human. It’s human to want to be held, to feel weak, and to crave the comfort of another’s arms. Life isn’t gentle enough to be able to walk through alone.

With half of my cigarette gone I put it out. I don’t need a whole one. All I really needed was to breathe.


Blogger Raj said...


This entry really captured what it's like to miss someone,to crave a connection, to almost relive a memory-it was beautiful and as always a pleasure to read.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend just broke up with me a couple days ago. I couldn't figure out how I felt, but that one paragraph summed it up pretty perfectly for me. Merci.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

This reminded me of days gone by - memories which in the healing balm of time don't bring the same concentration of feelings they once did. Ahhh...time, that old friend.

You got it, Gillian - substance is the real deal. The rest just gets us through the night. In the end it will be the substance you mention wanting which will always carry significance.

When I read your blog I always shuffle so many of my own memories, pedaling back in time to when I was 20 looking through my newly awakened eyes. I was floating in and out of intensities as though I were rafting down a raging river then. I am now left remembering the journey from there to here. Thanks for the invitation your words present for me to revisit those moments in my own life. :)

8:55 PM  
Blogger maitresse said...

you're such a beautiful writer. and I miss you.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

Thanks guys. This was actually for a writing assignment for my feature writing class. It was called 'You', so I decided to write about a typical moment where my nerves were all over the place. Thanks for connecting with me.

And maitresse, tu me manques aussi. Vraiment.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I am so glad that you are going into/are in journalisim. You always make me smile as I read your blog.

Also I love your photos, they are always a fun treat in a boring day.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

so honest & so beautiful :)

5:14 PM  

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