Since I opened the archives the traffic has gone through the roof. It comes and goes in waves and while I would have found it unnerving had I republished the entire history, now it's something else entirely. Traffic comes from three places; it originates from the reader base (that would be You), it comes in by way of links from other blogs (also the reader base), and it comes from the search engine which appears to be entirely Google. It used to come from multiple search engines but maybe Google has eaten them all. When I took the archives offline the search entries trickled down and then stopped entirely which wasn't a surprise. There wasn't anything left to look for and what was there went offline within thirty days of publication. I'm not really sure why approximately one hundred and forty resurrected posts jump started the machine but there they are. Eventually posts with titles like 'Christmas Panties' (pretty sure I put that back) will start getting hammered again leaving porn searching interweb trolls severely disappointed. Before you even go there, I did not put it back for the traffic, I put it back because it's FUNNY. And also indicative of just how damn out of control my life can get when I'm stretched too thin and where my priorities lie, or more accurately where they do not.
I watched the traffic come in and out. I watched where people started and stopped in the archives, how far they went, where they stopped and went back. It made me stop and think differently about those posts. There are different ways of moving through the archives. You can open the folder and go month to month or you can click the title of the post and read the comments. I hadn't even gone that far when I brought them back up but I started to follow you all when I noticed those posts being opened. I don't know for sure that's what was happening but that's what I started doing.
I started to notice patterns in the archive waves. Sometimes two or three would come in together and I'd have to sort them out based on timing, pull the threads apart and then follow them one at a time, reading each post over in the order the reader chose to follow. I might read the same post over again three or four times but on a different path looking at a different sort of me each time I came at it.
I have to tell you, I've spent an awful lot of time in 2007. What had you choose 2007? Was it because it was the beginning or was there something else? I went there with you in as many iterations and paths as you have gone. I have mourned that year, ached for it, wished for it back no matter how hard it was, no matter how much I lost and I did lose so very much that year. 2007 set the stage for the brutal end of 2008 which was really just the grace note that set off the crescendo called 2009. I'm not sure David would appreciate having his departure placed in the embellishment category but the truth is my heart was already broken. I didn't know what was happening to me until January, 2008 when I wrote the post called Ice Floes (or at least that's what I think it's titled) and my awareness, at least in that post of what was happening to me left me speechless. I must have written it in some sort of fugue state because I sure as shit don't have any recall of actually planning on taking a razor blade to the inside of my thigh but there I was just a few short weeks later locked in the bathroom doing just that with the precision of a surgeon so as not to make a mess and leave minimal scaring. Also, quiet as a mouse so as not to get caught. I knew I was on the precipice and I couldn't do a damn thing about it.
This stuff leaves me breathless.
I grieve for it, 2007. I mourn it, I want it back because it was hyper-real. My life was everything all the time technicolor super sharp micro focus exquisitely tuned electricity pulsing out my fingertips. It was the end of an era. For every bit of pain there was an offset measure of joy. I held onto that with my entire life, with every last drop, squeezed out, wrung out, without reservation. There is a post for Thanksgiving when I write for Amy about what my day looked like and I describe the how and why of my day and as I am reading this post I am remembering what it was like to cook and bake like that, with the level of effort that sort of cooking and baking required and that it was both incredibly draining and exquisitely beautiful and I had my brother and my son was missing and my heart was broken and today I wonder about Jack's timing and why he chose to be there that day because he of all people can take the edge off me like floating in the ocean, just by coming in close and whispering, "I love you, sister".
When 2007 was good and over, 2008 put it all to bed. I remember thinking, Holy shit, it doesn't hurt anymore, I am never going back and you cannot make me. I could not remember a time when it did not hurt although I'm sure there was a time. I just remember this:
There is a road I drive on the way to work or on the way toward the city (which is almost always on the way to work wherever work is) which is precisely 3.6 miles from my house and every morning when I made the left turn onto this narrow back road I would suddenly become exquisitely aware of how much pain I was in, physically and mentally and I would struggle with that for at least the next five miles. One day, after I'd been released I was going back to work so this was maybe a month later and I made that left turn and as I went over the rise I was exquisitely aware of just how perfectly fine I felt.
Perfectly fine felt like the best thing in the world.
It was too soon to mourn the everything all the time technicolor super sharp micro focus exquisitely tuned electricity pulsing out of my fingertips way I used to be. That came much, much later.
I would never go back but reading it again, through your eyes, in the order and at the cadence that you read I can pick up the pieces and look at them differently and for that I am thoroughly grateful.