I'm sitting at a restaurant in Cambridge, MA in 2010, after a long day at a conference. I'm traveling alone for work the for first time in a decade, having raised three daughters and changed 5000 diapers. I'm disoriented, surrounded by Mass General and Harvard Med School types. I'm missing limbs. Them. Their soft skin. Their breath. I'm impressionable. Faltering. Re-inhabiting Self.
I take the train from Boston to Cambridge because I want to see Harvard Square. I happen upon The Plough and Stars, where, to my delight, Erin Mckeown is playing live that evening.
I'm unaccustomed to the SoloDine (which I would later, after my divorce, get used to), but that night it didn't matter. I was in an
Alt-Universe divined by Erin.
This song broke me. I had been living a lie, an "our-marriage-is-fine" lie.
That night and until this day, I thought the lyrics were "I am aching," as opposed to "I am a king"!
I heard aching, and I was. It set off the waterworks. I cried openly in public for the first time. Strangers looked away.
It was out of my hands.
And with that, my world, their world, cleaved asunder.
Uncharted waters doesn't begin to describe it.