Cha Cha

Just when I thought I had been through it, there was more.

Recovery feels like waiting for the dead to come and take you home. It is definitely going to happen, but it is going to take a while. Which is a good thing, the goal really. I walk for miles. I am wearing my sneakers out. At five I make coffee and my breakfast. I write down everything that is available, listening for it like I listen for noises in the night.

Thoughts don’t fall on the page the way they used to, but I am sure they are in there somewhere. Where would they go? When I was little, I would go looking to live somewhere else. They are not going to take you; they got kids of their own for god’s sake. My thoughts are stuck with me.

I am not the same. You can tell by looking. It feels like going in reverse from moth to caterpillar. I inch along and eat. I take naps that can last an hour and then I lie there for an hour more. The trick in getting up is in surprises. It is hard to surprise yourself since you know, it is you who is planning the surprise, but it is not impossible. I signed up for private ballroom dance classes. That is definitely a surprise. A. I am cheap B. I am the worst ballroom dancer there ever was. I laugh too much and focus too hard on going where I think I should, instead of where I am supposed to. I read my dance teacher’s face and it says he has had enough of old women wearing a lot of elastic to keep the guts in. He would way rather be on the stage, where he should be. I appreciate his patience. My pink flat shoes covered with more sparkles than there are fish in the sea, leave evidence of my having been, everywhere we rhumba.

And when I walked home after my first class, through the limestone buildings that stand like old scholars in a city square, and have chandeliers that glow when it is dark outside and windows big enough to see everything and trees that tower over with branches that bend and bow, I feel a glimmer of joy again. Have you ever walked through a crowd and out of nowhere you are sure you saw someone you know who makes your heart flood with love? Even if it is not them, you still get to feel it.

I was worried my hands might not remember how to cook, but they do. When one lifts a fork to my lips and what I taste is what I remember, it can make me cry.

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