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into the morn

Published on June 30, 2016

Iona’s “Everything Changes” took me back to our trip out west in 1996. I miss that little Walkman and the case of tapes I took along. There were only a dozen or so slots, so I had to select my traveling music very carefully. The album wasn’t that great overall, but “Everything Changes” stood out for its slightly more industrial, electronic feel. The hotel in Jackson Hole had orange curtains and high ceilings and felt like something out of Jackie Brown. I don’t remember what I was reading then. The wheels of our eventual breakup were turning 1,500 miles away, unbeknownst to me. I was immersed in blue skies, clear air, idealistic pinings and long, long car rides.

I knew I wasn’t secure. I told myself I should buy something for her during the trip. I wanted to, but the thought that it’s something I should do—a sense of duty, almost—weighed on me more heavily. It was almost the idea that “This is what you do in a relationship,” and I went through the motions. Odd, though, because I did want to; it was a bizarre combination of obligation and effortlessness. I was confident; I didn’t feel like an imposter, a fraud, but I think I had a kind of subconscious awareness of the ephemeral quality of it, like it could be snatched away from me at any moment at the same time my conscious mind very much believed, if not that it would last forever, that at least it was open-ended. That probably stemmed from the quasi-unintentional way it started, how I backed myself into it and then slowly came to realize what an absolute treasure had fallen into my lap. It’s ironic that it was that lack of self-consciousness that fostered the attraction in the first place, and as my affection and insecurity increased in lockstep, the demeanor I first showed her withered away. And there was nothing I could do about it.

yesterday, today, forever the same
you are

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