Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
(Madrid – airport)
Waiting for my flight with a headache (a hangover?). On my way to Copenhagen, to meet Will, to join him on the tour.
Nervous, anxious, excited, and headachy. Oh, and tired. Always tired, but I’ll sleep when I’m dead, I suppose.
Friday, December 4th, 2009
(Malmö – coffee shop)
“Dazzling and tremendous how quick the sun-rise would kill me,
If I could not now and always send sun-rise out of me”
-Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”
Monday, December 7th, 2009
In a coffee shop, in Hamburg, wanting desperately to lose myself in a book, but stuck listening to shitty radio.
One of the people we met today said that I was boring. I think maybe it was a joke? Hard to tell, with the language barrier and all. Harder than one would think, at least.
And I don’t want to think that it’s true, but maybe it is. I suppose most boring people think that they’re interesting, and that’s what keeps them keepin’ on.
But anyways, fuck it. All I can do is keep on keepin’ on anyhow.
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
(Train—Hannover to Amsterdam)
Am I a child? Will said that I am, and with good reason. I don’t know, with him…I think it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like, he sees me as childish, and so treats me as such, and then that’s what I become; that’s what I am.
But then I think back to the night when Laura forced me to set up my bedroom in Madrid, when she saw how I’d been living—everything a mess, suitcase half unpacked, etc.—and I remember it was all so overwhelming, and nothing was right, and I didn’t know how to fix it. My mind started spinning with wild, childish fantasies—impossible solutions—and I wanted to cry.
This was maybe not the first time I’ve had a near breakdown over a new bedroom.
No, not even close.
And I really don’t like seeing myself through their eyes. I don’t like seeing myself as needy, or childish. Dependent.
* * *
But it can’t ALL be true, because sometimes I don’t depend. Sometimes I’m depended on. I mean, dozens of people have entrusted their children to me, and I haven’t let them down. And I’ve known what to say when a three-, four-, five-year-old poses the tough questions (or, if I didn’t know, I made something up, like all good grown-ups do).
I help out all I can and try my best to be honest, to be reliable and keep my commitments, to keep my word. I’m teaching myself to be my own shelter, not to always run to that strong masculine shoulder but to just wait and wait and hold on. A lot of self-justification, but still.
Anyways, I can’t be THAT childish if I’m out there (mostly) on my own, in Madrid, doing my own thing.
I’m just sensitive, and that’s because I’m very serious, and that’s okay, because then I’m also sincere. And I think that takes more strength, in a way, than being callous, because you’re always exposed. No jokes, no armor. No bullshit “adult” superiority, none of that.
Because who ever REALLY grows up, anyway? Honestly.
Thursday, December 10th, 2009
(Strasbourg – café)
I think the road to genuinely not caring is a lot different and more “duro” than just pretending not to care. But it’s better.
Oh, how it’s better.
Sunday, December 13th, 2009
(Train – Geneva to Montpellier)
Quelqu’un m’a dit qu’il me trouve bizarre aujourd’hui, mais je ne suis pas d’accord. Je me sens heureuse—heureuse par tout ça que je suis. Heureuse par pouvoir parler le français (un peut), et l’espagnole. Par tout que je sais faire, par tout que je suis, et par tout que je ne suis pas—je me sens heureuse. Je sais que je ne suis pas ennuyant. Pas du tout. Et si on veut ça croire, quel dommage.
* * *
La otra cosa es que, más que nada, ahora me siento tan agradecida por los amigos y familiares que tengo, los que me encuentran interesante, graciosa, genial. Los que ya saben que merezco la pena.
Laura me ha llamado varias veces durante esta gira. A lo mejor es para hablar de unos problemas que tenga, pero no solo será eso. También debe de ser para charlar conmigo, y para escucharme. Para sentirnos muy amigas. Porque ella depende de mí, justo como yo dependo tanto de ella. Y ya sé que cuando vuelva yo, vamos a embrazar. Vamos a cenar y hablar y beber hasta ponernos borrachas. Ya sé que voy a recontar mis experiencias a Marta y a las Marías, y que ellas van a estar interesadas en lo que tengo que decir.
Voy a hacer la compra con Marta, y discutir, y reírnos. Voy a fumar un cigarrillo con María Oviedo y hablar de los hombres. Voy a comer demasiado chocolate con María la pequeña. Voy a ir al cine con Sebastien para ver a Charlie Chaplin, cuantos veces podemos, y vamos a hablar francés.
Y luego, por fin, cuando haya conseguido lo que busco (cuando sea), voy a regresar a los EEUU, donde me esperarán mis amigos, mi familia, la vida que conozco.
Me sumergiré en todo lo que me está esperando, y lloraré. Lloraré por la pura alegría de todo eso.
* * *
More than anything, I feel like this has been a voyage of self-discovery. Oh, of course. Of course, of course—always thinking about myself, tucked up in my mind’s attic. Sometimes I wish I could tell my conscious self to fuck off, leave me be to listen to the music, dance a little, to laugh.
But that’s okay. I like that part of me, or at least I care about her—little self-conscious Sarah. And then there’s business Sarah, charming Sarah, grown-up Sarah and pretend-a-grown-up Sarah. I like them all. They can all stay.
There was a dark night, a very dark night (in Amsterdam, of all places!), and I was frozen, trapped under the weight of it all—existence, and possibility, and of course fear. Because sometimes we Sarahs get like that. Sometimes we’re reduced down to a fine point of despair, and in that empty, lonely little space the question comes: Is it worth it? Is all this worth anything? Should we keep going, keep trying? I know I can’t turn back, but I could get out. Morbid though it may sound, I console myself with that ultimate exit. I know that I can take it at any time. What can I say? I need the stakes to be that high; I take things very seriously.
These nights I usually fall asleep before making any drastic decisions. I exhaust myself in anguish and worry.
But then…maybe falling asleep IS my decision. And in the morning, I feel better. With time, I’m learning to remember that: In the morning, I’ll feel better.
So keep going, Sarahs. Lets keep going.