"Write About an Ending"

I don't think there is exactly one moment you can point to and say, "That. That is when things ended for me. That is when things changed." Maybe my sister would write about the day we had to move out of our blue house, and the way she said that her allergies made her eyes water as we packed up and moved dusty boxes out into the yard. I remember going through and checking all of the rooms that were now so different from how we had made it our own, and seeing her standing there, where her bed used to be, looking out of her window. She looked like a different person then. Sad and faraway. She had taken her shoes off and set it by the window. Later I realized that she would leave those shoes there, intentionally forgotten, a relic of love.

Maybe it was in the 7th grade, when Mindy Frankensoot in my science class turned to me and said, loud enough for everyone to hear, "I hear your dad's been fucking Miss Sonia." I punched her so hard I knocked one of her teeth loose and I was expelled. Maybe that was it, too. Or maybe it was waiting in the principal's office, not being able to look my dad in the eye and tell him exactly what had happened to have Mindy Frankensoot at the dentist for an emergency appointment, and me out of school. "You can tell me, honey," he had whispered. But he was wrong. I couldn't. And for that, I wished I could punch him, too.

Or maybe it was when I kissed Kyle S., the boy with a metal plate in his elbow from a dirt bike accident, instead of Phil H., the boy that really loved me. Or maybe it was sitting in 4th period, hearing that Phil H. was gone, having been recruited by the military. Maybe it was one year later, at his funeral, standing next to his mother, crying so hard that her knees shook and reverberated against each other. She would hold onto me that day, and I would let her.

Maybe it was the weekend of my dad's death, and I stayed over at my sister's house. While I reconciled with him in my imagination I heard her and her fiancé having sex. I lied there on the bed and I hated her. I envied her.

Maybe it was waking up in somebody else's bed without remembering their name. Maybe it was waiting for the white plastic strip to tell me exactly how my life was going to change. Maybe it was the fear and the consequences and the staggering reality, all stacked into one, and the constant mourning of who I was compared to who I wished I'd be.

But maybe it was none of that. Maybe it was holding my niece in my arms for the first time, feeling that rush of unprecedented love with no judgments whatsoever, just the love for what is pure and good all by itself. Maybe it was that night I stepped into the café and met Tony M., who would fall in love with me, and convince me to fall in love with him back. Maybe it was his goodness, or maybe it was his eyes, or the picture of his dog in his wallet. Maybe it was that. Maybe it was any of that. Maybe it is all of that. Because, in life, there are no marked finish lines for you to cross. If there are lines, they are blurred and impossible to make out. If there are lines, it is because people draw them.

For me, I have millions of endings to write about. But I also have none. But maybe it is just supposed to be that way. Maybe that is how life operates – on a constant roll – so you can't decide which is up or which is down, or what is an end and what is a beginning. You hold on until there is nothing to hold onto. That is all.