In a past life, I was a nice 15-year-old girl with a boyfriend named Alex. He stood near me at my locker. I caught him watch me bend to pick up a book. He brought me flowers while I studied at the library. He kissed me tentatively on the beach in April as our impulsively bare feet grew numb in the sand. He dreamed with me about marriage and babies and mini vans. Then we broke up.
In a past life I did ballet and wore my hair in a bun. My instructor told me my breasts were too large to be a “real” dancer, so I flattened them down with duct tape.
In a past life I believed “there is a time and place for everything, and it is called college.” I danced, got drunk, and dated drummers.
In a past life I went topless to a NOW rally in Washington, DC and met Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly and thought life could never get any better than that sunny day.
In a past life I held degrees in dance and creative writing, but couldn’t find a job so I worked for a Bishop.
In a past life the Marine I dated broke my finger on Valentine’s day, got me pregnant, and beat me down until I leaked life out of my wrists and crotch.
In a past life unhappily married men held me as their patron saint.
In a past life I did yoga on an ashram, lingered lazily in a moon-lodge while pasting magazine pictures onto the walls. I wore lilac oil, tye-dyed skirts, and pierced my navel.
In a past life I followed the Grateful Dead. I was one of those hippie chicks who spun and spun, my skirt flaring out like a hibiscus.
In a past life, a little dog went everywhere with me. I fancied her my spirit guide until she died.
In a past life, I went to graduate school to get a degree in social work because I thought I would be good at making understanding faces at people in pain.
In a past life I dreamed of travel but never got much father than my own continent.
In a past life, a nice guy made me a mixed tape. Little did I know we would part ways only to find our way back to each other seven years later in another life.
All these lives, these moments, these slippery stepping stones that seemd to take me so far from my self, actually brought me back around to the very time and place of birth into this life. All of these lives separate and distinct, yet part of a whole like the petals of a flower.
In this life, I walked up to a cafe to find the nice guy who made the mixed tape waiting for me. In this life I chose to leave the veils of drama far behind, because any more bullshit would have cost me this life.
In this life I got married and had two babies.
In this life I am someone’s wife, someone’s mom.
In this seamless, endless life.