This is not the Worst Year. That makes it worse.
I’ve said it before: pain is only relative. But it’s also ignorant because, once past, it cannot be sustained (certainly not by memory). At worst, like memory itself, the past is only imperfect.
I cannot perfectly remember the perfect tragedy of the Worst Year. These days, I just feel guilty. Things still feel like tragedy, even though the worst is over.
The worst year has passed, is past. Is now only an imperfection, writhing in company with every imperfect memory, only real for being made a proper noun, ‘the Worst Year’.
These days, I just want to be comfortable. The cold is worse than melancholy. I’m leaving parts of myself, scattered, in patches of sun. A cheek outside the library, my left thigh on the stools outside that coffee shop. Something like a murder.
‘I love myself, I hate myself; I’m beautiful.’
Repeat that like a mantra, find yourself closer to yourself. Or closer to not remembering those parts you’d rather not be.
And I always did fall in love with the bike before the boy. Not that he’d mind. It was always the type that understood. I hardly ride, myself. Not for want of much at all, but for all the allergies and the outdoors. No. Because the aesthetics have to be right, and because that’s the worst excuse ever (except that it’s true).