negative space

In ALL, BREAKUPS & BREAKTHROUGHS, MOVIES by Stephanie Klein10 Comments

When I saw the movie Stepmom—with Jules and the woman with the deep-set bug eyes that every guy remembers as hot (who women just don’t think of as pretty), in a t-shirt, from Bull Durham, Sarandon (or maybe it’s her voice, dripping in self-assurance)—I cried the entire time.  I needed napkins at the tender happy parts, the singing into hairbrush handles, jumping on the beds, horseback riding at dawn moments between a mother and her children.  I didn’t cry when you could see the cancer; I wept at the good because I knew what was coming. 

I knew when I handed you my red notebook, my most important journal, that I wanted you to last, wanted us to be an us.  You asked for paper and a pen so we could tell a story, line by line.  I could have handed you sheets of white paper.  Instead, I brought you the shrine, knowing you would be a fixture, and I let you tag team with me on sheets in the back of my red heart.  I hate how dramatic I am, how I’m a romantic, how I remember things while they are happening, before they should even be memories.  I hate how I cull and hoard my moments with you.  I do it because I know they won’t last. 

I worry it won’t last anywhere but here, on this page, in this mind, between these spaces and paragraphs.  It won’t be anywhere but here, in my memories, and we can’t even choose those.  I will miss this negative space, the things we’ll never have. While apart, firsts will happen for both of us, and you can’t replicate firsts, only try to copy them, like reproductions of fancy art.  But I’ll share this with you one day, and that will be my first, and it will live there, in the space between us.


  1. Steph,
    Thats' what they are moments in time – captured in the metaphysical world which flies by at a rapid pace. We commit them to memory saying, "I'm gonna write about this" to remember the brief moments in time that are important and the inconsequential ones. We, blog and put it out there for others to see for us and discussion. Never lose it.

  2. I for one can assure you that most guys don't think Susan Suranden is hot, she looks sickly. She ranks down there with the other one that we can't stand…Meryl Streep…

  3. I too have a "red Journal" But I learned a long time ago to keep it only to myself. It took strength for you to share it. It took the woos that love brings. The risk is like a high, but when it's over you wished you never had shared that part of you.

  4. "I hate how dramatic I am, how I’m a romantic, how I remember things while they are happening, before they should even be memories."

    Again, you've hit the "me" nail on the head…I am a planner and "thinker ahead-er" who can't just let go, live in the now, no matter how hard I try. Christ, I couldn't relax for the massage I had today!!! I envy you for being so open with the red notebook, reagrdless of how much it may bite you in the ass later later. I just can't do it…

  5. I shared my black journal almost exactly one month ago. I'd never done that before, not even when I was married. Comforting.

  6. Susan Sarandon kicks ass because she was in Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    And I never share my journals. Ever. I am a paranoid person who feels that if anyone I knew ever saw my innermost thoughts, they wouldn't want to know me anymore.

  7. I thought this was a reasonably smart blog but then anyone can use IMDB. Sarandon. She's lovely.

  8. I began to cry at the opening credits of Stepmom and didn't stop until my roommate made me go to bed, once. I wasn't drunk or sad, but just knowing what was coming made watching the movie unbearable and I cried rather uncontollably through the whole thing. I know just what you mean.

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