So here’s where I cop to a fetish with modern technology: I love the feature on Facebook that allows you to look at your posts from a given day—say, Oct. 8—through the years. It is, usually, a delightful way of reliving moments big and banal and inscrutable. You find out how funny you were. Or how sad and forlorn. You get to slap your forehead and say, “Has it really been (fill in the blank) years since that happened?” The arcs of relationships are right there, at your fingertips. It’s a strange thing to have a digital inventory of artifacts from a dead marriage, for example. Before Facebook, you had to pull out musty photo albums for such experiences.
These days, I’m picking through year-old posts a bit gingerly. It won’t be long before they head to a dark place—the darkest place I’ve ever been, where my circumstance and my involvements with other people came to a horrible confluence. Perhaps I’ll write of it someday. More likely, I’ll do what fiction writers tend to do and plow it into story, where I can find the answers through proxy characters. You know, change the names and the details to protect the innocent and the insignificant.
But here’s the thing about touring old darkness: What I see is not so much the shadows as the coming of the light. It’s a faint, far-off glimmer, imperceptible to me then but part of a larger story now.
I just came back from a whirlwind trip to L.A. with my love, Elisa Lorello. It was, in many ways, the capstone of the season that brought us together and cast us both in a new direction, together. She’s back in New York now, gathering her things. I’m in Montana, preparing for her arrival. We’ll start 2016 together, in the same place, ready to extend our story to new horizons. Gratitude abounds.
It would be cliche to say Elisa pulled me out of the darkness. She didn’t. Rather, with the support of many friends whom I’ll never be able to properly thank—Elisa included—I emerged from that place prepared for what was next. It’s a small distinction, but an important one. I had to get right with myself before I could be right with anyone else.
Lesson learned. More lessons to come. Bring them on.