I decided to finally start keeping track things and begin writing my story the afternoon of the day I realized I had hairline cracks in two of my front teeth.
Two days ago I moved into a new apartment. This morning the light from the window in the new bathroom hit my mouth at just the right angle, and there they were. Feeling a twinge of shock, I had to look a few times. I suppose I could cry, but there’s a part of me that feels good to know I’m using my body and clearly putting it in harm’s way. Those cracks were meant to happen, my perfect little mouth has been waiting for them. I never broke a bone when I was a child. Friends and classmates climbed trees, fell, and broke arms. I was too scared to try, an anxious child. When I look in the mirror, I see those days have passed and I am pleased. I am much more courageous now.
The crazy thing is, I have no idea when they cracked, and the unfortunate thing is that I have no dental insurance. I can remember a few weeks back when I think I might have hit my face with something somewhere, possibly at an art festival out in the Spanish desert, but I really have no idea. So, I should go to my dentist. But wait, I don’t have one. I have memories of lots of dentists that I’ve seen, but I doubt I have their numbers, and they are all in their offices in cities in the US anyway, and well, I now live in Italy.
Before I get too far, here’s a brief intro to my life: girl grows up in the suburbs hoping to become an artist, moves to NYC for college, stays longer than planned without a real plan, moves in with the man she hopes to marry, girl gives up all hope of ever doing anything truly creative, relationship falls apart, work life becomes a disappointing and underwhelming routine, girl has an affair with a friend at the office, sundays are weekly markers of a life wasted, girl breaks up with boyfriend, doesn’t sleep more than four hours a night for six months, recovers, turns thirty, moves to Europe.
Of course, I’ve left out all of the good parts.
Now is when the really story begins anyway, sometime between the move to Europe part and this moment, as I sit here in my apartment, overlooking a very picturesque, scooter-lined Florentine block of the Oltrarno that I now call home, knowing that it is a temporary situation. Knowing from experience that the temporary states are the ones worth living – laughter, highs, hugs, orgasms – all almost over as soon as they begin. I wonder if I have always known that I’d come around and give up other people’s ideas of how I should live and be true to myself. That means being an artist, traveler and sexually liberated woman like those I met and watched and admired when I moved to the East Village of New York just before my 19th birthday.
My current to do list (in order, as chatted to a friend online this afternoon):
1. fall in love
2. be a better artist
3. travel more
4. keep grabbing life by the balls, etc.
To be clear, fall in love is not to be confused with get a boyfriend or get married. Not that would pass on either of those, but I am looking for something magical that does not require documentation, commitment or witnesses.
And there is a good story that literally goes with item number four. It begins with a drug-fueled night at a festival in 2009, includes consensual public groping with an Italian lover and two year crush that would dominate my heart for the worse, and ends in a medical intervention to keep me from dying of dehydration, but let’s not rush things. I have some painting to do and the sun just came out after a huge storm.