August 11th, 2009

Astrology

There was a span of about two days back in December 1998 where I did not - could not - speak. Sure, I could respond to simple questions with a "yes" or a "no", but beyond that, communication was far too involved for me to engage in.

"I'm not your girlfriend anymore?" I'd asked him. "No. You're not." Over and over. It played relentlessly in my head. Five years of life with him behind me, and I could not conceive of a life without him. It seems trite now, but at the time my entire future had evaporated with this small exchange.

I remember sitting on my parent's couch for hours, just looking out the window. They were concerned of course, and tried to draw me out of myself, but from my vantage they seemed so distant, almost like a show on TV that on some level I knew I ought to be watching, but could not remain focused on. My thoughts were elsewhere; I was processing events, words, and scenes from the past. My head was a flurry of activity, but turned completely inward.

I ate dinner, and I even remember watching a movie, The Paper Chase, which was about students in law school. My parents understood what had happened and were gentle with me, trying to lighten the mood with smiles and humor. I could smile weakly in return, but then I'd be lost again inside myself. It was hard to stay in the present; it hurt too much.

I remember my mother turning to my father and saying, "It's like she's grieving." She couldn't have been more correct.

Inside my head the gears were slipping. I was trying over and over to process the information. Trying to imagine a life alone, and completely failing. It was a puzzle I had to unravel, but couldn't figure out.

On the second day madresal  came to visit me. We were old friends, and she was determined to help me. She piled me into her Geo Tracker and drove me around for a bit, finally ending up at a Barnes & Noble bookstore. She pulled me over to the Astrology section, pulled out a bunch of books, and began to tell me about my future. She'd been into Astrology when she was in high school and knew all the nitty gritty about planet alignments and such.

She fleshed it all out. My house of career, of relationships, of home... she gave my future form and texture. She created a scaffold upon which I could see myself rebuilding my life.

And even though my belief in astrology up until that point had been flimsy at best, my mind finally stopped slipping its gears and I slowly sat back down in the driver's seat of my life. That was years ago, and I still couldn't tell you if I honestly believe in astrology. I suppose some days I do and other days I think it's a crock. But I'll never forget how it got me through that horrible time in my life, how it gave me hope that there could still be good things ahead for me, regardless of what I might be going through in the present.