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  • When I was younger, in my twenties, I would have these bouts of sadness that would come to me unexpectedly. I would be sitting on a couch and I would start to cry, not just a few trickle of tears, but these heaving sobs, sometimes at the most random thing, a sad tune from billie holiday, a tragic novel, a French film, so many things would cause me to weep, everything seemed more poignant then, porous with emotions, it was as if I walked barefoot and the world was full of broken glass.

    My moods then were so much more feral, they stampeded, they galloped across the plains, and there were such highs and lows, from the moon to the bottom of the sea. I could weep at the sight of a sunset, just walking home with a stranger from a smoke filled bar seemed so alluring and exciting. And the drama of waiting by the telephone for the answering machine for the red light to blink that could spin my emotions for days.

    Ahh, those first few years in the city when I would ride my bike to Baker Beach through the presidio, through the grove of eucalyptus tree, with the wind on my face, the sun on my back. The excitement I felt when I arrived at my destination, standing there at the edge of a plunging cliff, the sky, a blue blanket, the sprawling view of the ocean and the golden gate bridge. The sound of the surf, the squawk of seagulls.

    In September, the light was always this honey gold, the wildflowers would still be blooming, and the air smelled like licorice, like fennel.

    One time. I met a young man and we slept together on a beach towel, the sensation of the sun in my eyes, the perspiration, and the odor of suntan oil, the gritty texture of sand on my back. It was such a perfect day, cozy and relaxed, the lullaby of the waves, in and out, I was drifting, half asleep, half awake. We stayed there until the sunset, and the light was waning when we rode our bicycles back to the Castro. The way the amber light slanted across his back, highlighting the bronze of his neck against the white of his tank top.

    That evening it was a rare warm night in this city known for fog, we slept with the windows open, and in the middle of night, I could hear the sound of a firetruck wailing, the scent of the sea, my sunburnt skin, the entire day still lingered inside of me, and my heart swelled with this joy that had no boundary, it spilled into the hillside, into the night sky, it felt like i had touched some sort of infinity that kept expanding and expanding across the entire cosmos.

    The next morning when we kissed and he walked down the hill I stood at the bay window watching him descending, the feeling of melancholia, it began to overtake me. It was as if a rain cloud had suddenly appeared and i felt this hollowness inside my chest, a wounded, stabbing feeling, a sorrow seeped into my skin, and I began to cry.

    I cannot recall the exact moment when my mood became tamer and the melancholia that haunted my youth disappeared.

    Nowadays, it is harder for me to conjure the same riveting emotions, the poignancy, the rawness, is now perhaps encrusted, alloyed by time, i no longer feel as if i am walking barefeet on broken glass. There is neither the ebullient joyride, nor the dark abyss, the tears do not come as easily to me now, the well is dry, there is no more water. Perhaps my heart has become callused over the years and i have succumbed to gravity. Or perhaps it is just a sign of maturity, wisdom of experience. I am not sure.

    Sometimes though I confess I do miss that melancholia that haunted me in my youth, perhaps by exorcising my demons, I also lost a few angels.
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