The Eternal Return

October 19th, 2010

Even though I know my old love is truly dead, I have a hard time accepting it in the back of my brain. Every morning when I open my email, I halfway expect a message from him, even though we never emailed, only wrote stacks of love letters on paper. It’s absurd, I know. Still–I think I’m secretly looking for signs that he’s here somewhere nearby. As if there’s an internet cafe in the afterlife where he could tap out a quick hello/I still love you. (Surely they’ve upgraded from Ouija boards by now.) In Starbucks last weekend, I was sitting on the window sill, patiently waiting for my coffee, watching couples snog in line and reminding myself that, “I’ll never walk down a street in a strange city and run into him, I’ll never have a chance to say I’m sorry, I’ll never know for sure if he ever thought of us.” Trying to grind down hope and spread the ashes. When I walked up to get my latte, there was a display of cups I’d never seen before, all imprinted with the word, REINCARNATE. ┬áThe rational, enlightened part of me knows it was just a clever way to market cups made of recycled material, but the part of me that wants to believe in magic and miracles hopes it’s a sign that we are all recycled material and we’ll mix and mingle again another day, in another time and place, in a most unexpected way.

2 Responses to “The Eternal Return”

  1. Someone gave me one of those mugs as a gift…

    It’s a cliche, but I really do believe the people we love and bond with live in us. Whether they are living or dead, we carry them and they carry us in a primal, cellular way that is about more than memory. This is why I like the poem, “The Conjugation of the Paramecium.” It addresses that very idea in a way that I’ve experienced it.

    And if you haven’t already read it, read The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. She understands exactly what you’re talking about…

  2. We DO reincarnate. I have lived with someone I knew before. She doesn’t remember, but I do. Anyone that you click with right away, I bet you knew before. How else could you pick up the conversation right in the middle?
    My friend disappeared when we were children, then 50 years later, I saw her coming up the path, age 30. That was 500 years ago. We have married, been together 22 years, and divorced by now. Don’t ask to know unless you can live with that picture. We are probably better off not knowing. But the idea can give you hope anyway.
    I like “The Conjugation of the Paramecium.” We don’t have sex to procreate: we do it to exchange parts of our souls. If we knew that, we would forget about love and marriage and creating a life together and we would run wild and free like the wind. But, I am a Hetaira, I would say that.
    Have fun!

Leave a Reply