Dreaming of warm summer days, to help her break free from the dark and cold Northern winter, Amber remembers the carefree days of her youth. Is spring is just around the corner?
I used to dance on speakers. I smoked with drink in hand and danced until my mascara ran down my face. I wore tight pants and shirts that sparkled like the stars the city lights blocked out. I kissed girls and chased boys and laughed. Hair teased, tangled, wild, I owned something I didn’t appreciate. God, to capture that feeling.
Today, gosh, today. The clock governs my survival. Squeezing more than is possible into a single minute, never accounting for small interruptions. I have not smoked a cigarette in ten years and I have begun craving them again. Not the actual nicotine, but the way that action made me feel. So open, so wide open, each drag bringing about a possibility. There were no clocks, no demands in that one small moment. If I realized I was doing something reckless–it didn’t matter–I was the only one who would suffer the consequences. The music pulsating, my heart jumping along with it, if I tried I’m sure I could have flown.
That person, the one dancing on speakers, she has not made an appearance in a long time. I miss her. She is forgotten, the recipe buried deep amongst the clutter accumulated over the years. I’ve thought about attempting to recreate her from memory, starting with that cigarette, or maybe a few glasses of something or other (what was I drinking in those days?), but I don’t know that she’d surface. Perhaps she’s mad at me. Stuffed down there in the basement of memory along with my childhood self waiting for an opening to escape.
It is cold here, so cold and for so long, the captivity and isolation stronger than a ‘normal’ winter in these parts, my longing for the freedom of youth is connected to this. Escape playing loudly over and over in my head. To break free of snow and ice, to break free of my need to control my environment, to feel like I have a choice, there were so many choices once. I fled the country without a second thought and here I am weighted, anchored in a vast panoramic city of white.
With the threat of more winter and weeks of down-filled parkas, numb fingers and toes comes the battle of sanity, wishing you were anywhere else but here; usually a beach, a hut, an ocean, writing, quiet, sun shining, colour! And for the first time, it has brought with me a desire to be anyone else, for one day. But how, still alludes me.
Eventually the cold will break, summer will come, colour will return, this will be a minor blip in my history… it seems a maniacal “or will it?” is appropriate at this stage, as I have yet to pass through to the other side… please let the warmth return.
Editors note: After reading this lovely piece I now have this song in my head. I’ve added it so it can torment the rest of you too. You’re welcome…
The Head Empress