MOMA Nights

TAMPA MOMA

On the night that your fiancée waltzes in to your bedroom, sits down across from you, and says the dreaded four words “We need to talk.” then after much terrified prodding and the most horrible pregnant pause of your entire life follows that statement up with “I’m not ready to be married.” You will think that you’re going to die. In fact you will carefully consider that option. After all the beer bottle that you’re now drowning your sorrows in could easily be broken and you could use one of the shards to slit your wrists. But this is not really a viable option. You’re an adult woman and this is not your first rodeo. You are after all once divorced and you know that this too shall pass. That the sun will in fact come out tomorrow and unfortunately (or at least it seems) this is not where your story ends.

You won’t sleep well. This could be from the fact that you went to bed at seven pm or it could be from the fact that you’ve just lost a piece of you. It makes sense that when such a huge part of your life, something you’ve looked forward to, and worked so hard for falls apart without much advance notice, that you will be restless. This is when you must make the decision to be ok.

So you get up out of bed at the butt crack of dawn and make the brilliant decision to go for a walk. It’s not very surprising that you walk the three miles to downtown Tampa in a fugue state. You barely even acknowledged the six homeless men who yelled out to you when you made your way past Curtis Hixon Park. Even right outside of your neighborhood when you’d made it to Kennedy and that police officer had pulled you over (is that the term for when you’re walking?)  and asked where you were headed after demanding your identification; even that was surreal. Hell you weren’t even scared though you should have been; Mike Brown isn’t even cold… for that matter neither is Yvette Smith. But you weren’t, you just handed him the ID and waited patiently as he ran your name, came back, passed you the card, and urged you to be safe.

Maybe you knew that you were headed to the place where you thought you had solidified your future. You weren’t surprised when you ended up there. Was it fate that made the lights the same colors that they were when the proposal happened. You know they’ve since changed. That one night you went to the festival they were yellow and red. But the worst night of your life they were the exact same color as they were on the best night of your life. Pink and blue. Like the colors that parents choose to bring their newborn babies home in. Like the colors of Easter eggs. Like the color of your favorite sky.

And was it fate that made that damn Rihanna song come on. As you were sitting there trying to figure out if this thing that you had declared to be art on the best day of your life was actually art on the worst day of your life. As the lights changed from pink to blue and the tears flowed and Rihanna sang about how she wanted him to stay then Taylor Swift burst in saying how she couldn’t make him stay and how players were gonna play play play, was that part fate? I don’t think you ever even figured out if it were art. When you paused the song and looked it up Google defined art as“the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance”. Wasn’t this creative? This massive square brick structure with the beautiful lights that changed color from time to time. This thing that housed art. Was it in fact art? Aren’t the lights so pretty though? Even if it’s not art?

I don’t think you figured it out, whether it was art or not because you couldn’t get rid of the feeling that your heart had been simultaneously snatched out of your chest and shoved down your throat at the same time. You thought you had a partnership… That you were working towards creating/ building a life together and now you realized that you’re not. Well, you didn’t realize it as much as you had been informed of it.

Why did you come here? To bring back the memories of how shocked and happy you were when she pulled you to the front of that crowd of dancing people because your song was playing. You were so into trying to mimic the dancers moves and singing how you wanted to dance with somebody who loved you that you missed your entire family sitting all around you. Your dad was actually sitting at a cafe table right next to you when she turned you around and got down on one knee. You didn’t see him there though because you were having fun and you were in love and she, the woman of your dreams was asking you to marry her. And everything was beautiful. After you said yes and danced some more with your friends and family and you’d cried happy tears in this same spot in front of this brilliant piece of art. She’d asked if you wanted to go inside and you’d replied “No.” “Don’t you want to see the art?” she’d asked looking down at that huge diamond that she’d just placed on your hand and you’d turned her around so that she could see the lights on the building and asked “Isn’t this art? Aren’t we art?”

Now you remember why you came. When she was telling you how now just wasn’t the right time, and saying how it wasn’t you it was her, and how her job was going to require her to travel more, and her brother needed her, and how maybe one day the timing would be right, you had made the decision to come here to kiss forever goodbye in the same fashion that you had kissed it hello.

So, On the night your fiancée waltzes in to your bedroom, sits down across from you, and says the dreaded four words “We need to talk.” then after much terrified prodding and the most horrible pregnant pause of your entire life follows that statement up with “I’m not ready to be married.” When the news you are hearing is flowing over you like the suffocating heat of a hot August afternoon there are two things you can do. One, you can totally come undone. You can take out every single pin that you have stuck in you, peel off every piece of tape that you’ve stuck to you, remove every staple, and dissolve every ounce of glue that you have ever used to hold your being together and you can lose it. This is a totally acceptable option. Or Two: you can go to the place where you thought forever was cemented in stone and you can kiss forever goodbye and you could even cry but you could make a vow to not let this destroy you. Either you fall apart, or you stand up, you insert steel into your spinal cord, look over at that big beautiful piece of art and you say “What’s next cause I’m ready?”

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