Things I Liked in May
There is just one thing
Each month, for my paying subscribers, I will be writing about things I liked. Sometimes it will be a list, and others, like this time, it will be a meditation on something that got me through some difficulty. To support my work and get access to exclusive pieces like these, please consider upgrading your subscription. Thank you so much.
In heartbreak, a few days can assume the rough outline of a miniature lifespan as one careens through the peaks and valleys of sadness, peace, anger, and false epiphanies, each sentiment feeling like the last word on the matter for about an hour or so. Business as usual swells with theatrical significance—your cup of coffee urges you to keep going, a bird reminds you life can be beautiful. Everyday objects take their sides. Certain items of clothing defect, for example, while others pledge their fealty anew.
One of these lifetimes I identify as the sand-colored one, so dubbed because in those days I wear a sand-colored, soft, linen knit polo, and sand-colored drawstring corduroy shorts, along with sand-colored canvas shoes. I also wear a stretchy beaded bracelet on my wrist, a recent souvenir I picked up at the base of a temple in Chiang Mai, and it is sand-colored as well.
The sand-colored era must have begun a few days after the last argument, the finer points of which I kept retreading in my mind against my will, looking for answers, things I might have missed. Still, it’s not an altogether unpleasant time. The sobbing is done with, and what remains is the almost enjoyable feeling of having been wounded, of being a fragile object that should be handled with care.
In these days, I walk gingerly. I stay in my sister’s house where, thank goodness, we both like the temperature to be very cold. I go to bed early, and I wake up early. I drive twenty minutes to Oklahoma City every morning and hope to make it in time to Elemental, my favorite coffee shop, before they run out of the breakfast burritos that they keep in a chafing dish. The burritos are assigned letters, written in sharpie individually on the foil wrapping. H, for sausage, egg, and cheese. V, for black beans and potatoes, and so on.
A little routine is established, and the routine defines everything for a little while. But in the sand-colored lifespan, one that must have lasted for no more than five days but which felt like many years, there was no fixture more important than Wilson’s Grill Express, a restaurant a few minutes away from my sister’s house in Edmond.