Talismans of Broken Dreams

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 30, 2018

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Submitted: December 30, 2018

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ar Dr.___________, 

I’m sure that I’ve told you about the surfboard skateboard drama.Its been my substitute for warmth and affection, a band aid for grief for the last couple of months.

Before my accident, I was very spry.I was a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness.I dispensed fitness support in Yoga Pants 5 days per week.I ran on the beach, rocked Zumba classes, and was a regular weekend warrior.My apartment was not far from work.When there was a break in the afternoons, I’d often go home for a bit.Jack had left his long skateboard at my house for me to use. 

As a child, I was much too awkward to skateboard.One girl on our street knocked her front teeth out by falling off a skateboard.We lived on a cul de sac with a healthy slope to it.Us kids could pick up a lot of speed headed downhill on a bike, big wheels, or Jessie’s beloved skateboard.“Stand up on it.”, Jessie said.

“I can’t.I’ll fall.”

“You’re such a fraidy cat.”

Jessie was cool, 3 years older than me, taller, prettier, cold, aloof, and undeniably worthy of my respect.She helped me ride a bike for the first time, and upon directing me down a huge hill, I flew over the handle bars upon trying to break.The weeks it took me to heal made me wary of her advice, no matter how many cartwheels she could do.

So she settled for sitting me on the front of the board, and herself on the back. We raced down the hill on the skateboard, running the board into the Lawrence’s lawn.After dramatically rolling off the skateboard we stared at the sky, imagining the clouds to be cotton candy.She got Jennifer, from the other side of the street, to stand up on the board with her.Jennifer’s street ran parallel to ours, and was equally as steep.So when Jessie wanted a thrill, she’d go ride down Jennifer’s street standing up, with Jennifer looking on.

Jessie came home from one of these excursions having sheared four of her front teeth out, after having worn braces for two years.Rumors circulated that only half of the marks on her body were from the fall.It was part of neighborhood lore that at least half of her bruises were from her hot - tempered Columbian father.

It was enough to keep me away from skateboards for a long time.Only twenty five years later, and 400 miles away could I happily cruise on my then boyfriend’s long board..I would glide happily up and down the street, before I went to pick up my kids from school.I even heard the old man in the front apartment say “Man she don’t got no respect for nobody.”, the frivolity of a 32 year old woman riding a long skateboard, any given afternoon, before she picked up her kids, was offensive to him.

Then there was the surfboard.There is nothing like catching a wave and gliding over the water to shore.It’s the closest I have ever been to flying. I loved the sensation so much I never learned how to turn.I was content to simply paddle out, try to spot Japan, and marvel at how small the world looked in the vast ocean.Then I’d catch a wave and fly back to shore, standing or not.I could only surf in a basic fashion, but it was magnificent to me. 

In February 2016, I got poisoned by the Lithium I was taking.I’m bipolar.When I was finally caught at it, it was 2013.When I came out of the hospital I was in a wheelchair, and received a diagnosis of ataxia.These days I can walk about 3 mph with a cane, while the rest of the world rockets ahead of me.I’ve fallen down to be found by a neighbor unable to get myself out of the bushes. I got abandoned in a rainstorm in Rio de Janeiro, only to be admonished for, after my rescue, falling asleep on the subway.I’m slower now, and cannot explain to anyone that I was poisoned by lithium, and I’m so scared of the medicine I have opted to “white knuckle” it.I’ve been left staring into an abyss, that sometimes wins me over, creeps into my soul, and can only be flushed out with wracking sobs, or a glass of wine.

My journies back to the real world left a lot of that spry woman behind. Jack (the one with the skateboard) brought another woman home, and I kicked him out for refusing to discuss it or come back to bed.My balance and endurance have never recovered enough for skateboarding or surfing. They are the only things I want. I want my mobility more than any man, title, crazy sexual encounter, my children, or amount of money.No longer can I outrun my grief or pound away my sadness with exercise.

So the surfboard and the skateboard sat in the garage for two years.Every time I saw them I was hit by grief. Times had changed, and I wanted to turn my garage into an art studio.Since things can easily flow out of my through charcoal, paint, or via words.

Within weeks of my boyfriend moving out, my neighbor seduced me, and it was fantastic.But he has yet to engender any real trust in me because of his erratic behavior.He’s bipolar too.

Jeremy, my neighbor, was helping me clean the garage one day, and he spotted the surfboard and skateboard.His eyes sparkled when I gave him the boards “Are you sure that Lee wants them?”, I asked.

“He’ll be thrilled.”, he said.

“But he already has so many.”, indeed Lee’s surfboards occupied 2/3 of the living room.“If he doesn’t want them, you can give them back.”.

“Trust me.He’ll be happy”.

I was happy to extend kindness to my neighbors.Freeing the space in my garage occupied by dead dreams of flight and fancy left a hole in my heart.The carefree woman that Jack had fallen in love with was mostly buried inside of me now.Some part of me knew that Jack had left the boards thinking that he would return, or I would recover enough to use them.So I watched my crazy new flame shuffle them off, with the promise that either Lee or his nephew would use the boards.

Oh god.I ran away. 

I ran away.

I ran away. 

I couldn’t find it in myself to understand him, when I had a such huge secrets to hide.The secrets that if they came forth, would result in my abandonment.The thought made me crazy.There is something in me deeply unlovable, and I’d better leave before anyone finds it.

Jeremey became suspicious that I had slept with one of his friends.One night I went to find him and he wouldn’t answer the door.“Its okay,” I texted. “Some other time, I still love you.”

“Hungover,”, he replied.“And quit saying that you love me.I don’t need that BS”.

I disappeared.Blocked the number…

The next morning Jeremy saw me leaving for work and chased me to my car. I drove off like a shot.He was watching the apartment to see who would come out.Luckily he’s a smoker, and doesn’t run much either.

So Jack found out where the boards were, and called Lee.Jeremy had kept the boards in his room, not giving them to anyone.

A month later, I came home from work to find my ex boyfriend waiting for me on the street.Once again, I drove off.

The next morning the surfboard and skateboard were on my doorstep.I panicked.When I was walking the dog I decided that I did not want them, or care what happened to those boards anymore.The two talismans of my broken body and heart were laid on my step.So I put them on the sidewalk and took a shower.

When I left, the boards had been moved to Jeremy’s door.He furiously told me that he would leave the boards by my garage.But they weren’t there…. Ever.

Jack and Jeremy were fighting for scraps.Scraps of love that I couldn’t express, yet that they both perceived in the skateboard and surfboard.

“Remember when I pulled you by the hand on the skateboard at our first date on Laguna Beach?”, Jack asked.

“Yes, it was a long time ago.”

Its only a souvenier now.

 

Love,

R


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