Tuesday, July 03, 2012

I am Emma Morley

The timing was off. I read it too early.

I read One Day late in the spring of 2011. Before The Coach left. Before The Coach knew where he was going. When it was complicated but not crazy complicated. When he was a lot of things -- including nearby.

Recently, I was looking up a quote from One Day. Trying to find a passage that has stuck in my head for more than a year.

I love the internet. I found the quote. I found a whole list of quotes from the book. I read through each one. And nearly every one bashed me in the head. Repeatedly.

One Day is my life. Dex is The Coach. Emma is me. One Day is my life. I read it and I didn't see what was so obvious. I read the book and I didn't make the connection.

I don't want to give away too much. (You should read it.) (Don't bother with the movie.) It follows the main characters -- Emma and Dexter -- checking in on them every year. Always on the same day. For years.

So much of it feels familiar. So much of it reminds me of the last 15 months.

Forgive me if it's a little lame/sappy/unoriginal/corny. Forgive me for using quotes as a crutch to tell the story of me and The Coach because I have never been able to find the right words to tell the whole tale.

Don't read too much into them. Don't assume too much. They're just words. It's just a book. He's just a guy. A guy to reluctantly file in my past.

This won't be entirely like One Day. This won't last years. 

“Just kidding' was exactly what people wrote when they meant every word.”

“If you have to keep a secret it's because you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.”

“As soon as she'd met him at the arrivals gate on his return from Thailand, lithe and brown and shaven-headed, she knew that there was no chance of a relationship between them. Too much had happened to him, too little had happened to her.”

“I'm not the consolation prize, Dex. I'm not something you resort to. I happen to think I'm worth more than that.”

“Dexter, I love you so much. So, so much, and I probably always will. I just don't like you anymore. I'm sorry.”

“...Emma Morley wasn't such a paragon either: pretentious, petulant, lazy, speechifying, judgmental. Self-pitying, self righteous, self-important, all the selfs except self-confident, the quality that she had always needed the most.”

“People change, no use getting sentimental about it. Move on, find someone else.”

“The future rose up ahead of her, a succession of empty days, each more daunting and unknowable than the one before her.”

“Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today; and I'll always remember it.”

“He wanted to live life in such a way that if a photograph were taken at random, it would be a cool photograph. Things should look right. Fun; there should be a lot of fun and no more sadness than absolutely necessary.”

“'I'm just not prepared to be treated like this anymore.'
'Treated like what?'
She sighed, and it was a moment before she spoke. 'Like you always want to be somewhere else, with someone else.'”

“She wondered if she was doomed to be one of those people who spend their lives trying things.”

“You can't expect people to build their lives around you.”

“In rare moments of self-doubt, Dexter had once worried that a lack of intellect might hold him back in life, but here was a job where confidence, energy, perhaps even a certain arrogance were all that mattered, all qualities that lay within his grasp.”

 “Occasionally, very occasionally, say at four o'clock in the afternoon on a wet Sunday, she feels panic-stricken and almost breathless with loneliness. Once or twice she has been known to pick up the phone to check that it isn't broken. Sometimes she thinks how nice it would be to be woken up by a call in the night: 'get in a taxi now' or 'I need to see you, we need to talk.'”

“We're not ourselves, are we? I'm certainly not myself, not anymore. And you're not either. You don't seem yourself. Not as I remember you.” 


Teagan B. Sawyer said...

Time to fill your inbox again...just ughhh reading this kind of broke my heart a little bit. You're amazing and I'm glad you said this will not be the YEARS that were Dex and Emma. Hugs!

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