What were you like at the age of Eleven? I ask about Eleven because it’s such a clean satisfying word. And as an age, it was a funny time for me. Really who I’m talking to is Eight but like all casting decisions, Eight is just more legible at Eleven. Though Eight is also a hefty word. Too hefty. I prefer Eleven, still.
I read an attempt at a letter I wrote to myself last year because a couple nights ago I was awakened multiple times by the notion that I had forgotten something important, only to discover my mind accusing me of massive incompetence. It convinced me that what I’d forgotten was simply that I am a fool. I can’t believe I published this letter. I can’t believe I say anything. I can’t believe I’m writing this.
Sometimes when I’m refilling prescriptions for my thyroid I attempt to take a pill, thinking that’s how medicine regenerates. Maybe I am in fact, truly, incompetent. My son used to call Eleven “one-teen.” I wish he never stopped.
My Eleven keeps me from losing my marbles. Talking to her late at night was challenging, and I failed at multiple junctures to ignore the Nine, the Twenty Two, the full linearity of maturity. How is it that we are still teaching ourselves how to sleep? I would like to offer you peace. When everybody has settled into their setting and we agree to perform with the blessings of memory while I settle into the bliss of this new accumulation of time together; when I touch the fabric of what makes you the number and not the score, I can actually hear something. The fine edges of thread tethered and taut over the neighbor’s small house. Someone spray-painted liar in big letters on her door and that makes me sad, but sadder still for the person who did it to her house, who can no longer go to her for help he probably never deserved.
The bliss and the blessing of this time between us. The fabric. The fabric is all we have between us. And the thread taut over us makes this exquisite sound only Eleven can let me hear. Is my Eleven your Eleven? I am yours.