My ex emailed me twice awhile ago. He had requested my postal address, so he could forward a box of my things. He also apologised for his behaviour during our marriage, blaming his alcoholism. Before those emails, he sent one with an image of an ex-voto painting he had made about an accident in the Burren in which he nearly killed me, his front-seat passenger, driving into a wall while drunk.
I didn't reply to any of the emails. I wait on things alot, especially concerning spectres from my past. In such cases, waiting is good. With enough time, true intentions break from the murkiness of tangled feelings and memories.
Today I decided to look at his Instagram account. I don't know why. Perhaps to see what he had been doing in the years since we separated; what kind of a man he had become, post-alcohol addiction. He's living in Mexico City, with a thriving conceptual art career, a girlfriend, and a hairless dog he calls his daughter. He seemed happy, still the hipster, acquiring all the signifiers by which to signal how much more local he is than the locals.
Among the posts was a video called "MOOD", featuring a little Buddha, which I had thrifted years ago in Oakland, ceramic and painted in vibrant colours. The Buddha is hollow; I used to fill it with small strips of paper, on which I had written my wishes for the future. The Buddha faces the camera, smiling and whole for a second, until a hammer swings onto its head, smashing its face; an artifact of our history, exploding in a few seconds of violence. The interior is revealed: pink paper slips, scribbled with dead wishes, peek out from the belly of my past in the Mexican sunshine.
The discovery of that video is so very Mercury retrograde, that time of the year when the scum of the past finally rises to the surface. Along with my conferral, it feels like an appropriate event for this penultimate month of the decade, reminding me not only of my quelled, anxious self at the beginning of 2010, but also how much I had changed, a little phoenix living in the wilds of Leitrim, with the full powers of regeneration at hand whenever I need it.