I do not remember the last time I felt safe. Even in moments of pure joy, a lunatic impulse to rouse the corpses out of their graves overwhelms. A fear seeps into the cracks, reminding me not to let my guard down. Yet, I welcome it.
Perhaps this is both my delight and my folly — wherever the void’s hands moved, my body is as yielding as water. Submerged in the rapture of the deep – hundreds of fathoms down and still sinking – the fumes of the bog still faintly cling to my nostrils. The air escapes my lungs, but the effervescence of my fears keeps the heart beating.
I am perpetually on top of a skyscraper that has seen better days — every inch of its vertical space occupied by chaos and dust. Malice overcomes the rose-colored haven in my mind. I let it. Thick and heavy, I feel every quiver of its breathing.
Atop this high place, the void beckons and I come alive. For every paramour or friend weighed and found wanting, my knees numb and a coldness creeps under my skin, eventually making its way into my spine. Yet again, I come alive. In the humid stillness of noons, when my reserves deplete, I bask in my viscous humanness and I come alive.
Heaven is the opium for the credulous and the afraid, uncertainty is mine. Neither herb nor alcohol comes close. So, when the void calls, I jump.
Once upon another time, there was a girl whose hopes and dreams left her aching for time to go faster. Her heart was massive, her faith unshaken.
“What could possibly go wrong tomorrow?”
Now, her cigarette smoulders in her makeshift ashtray. She’s been putting off getting a real one because she cannot bring herself to admit that she’s been a slave to this nicotine tyrant for a good part of her life now.
The island is vast, but life is short in her city. There’s a knot in her gut just kicking and screaming.
“Do people in my life care enough to love the muddy parts of me just as much as the shiny ones?”
It’s five minutes before 11. She sits and marinates in the gloom and silence. How many others share her delusions of a high-functioning adulthood?
Melancholy brews in the pot and she sips from cups filled with her own internal tantrums. She has yet to pick out what to wear for work tomorrow. She keeps staring at the clock wishing, praying for time to stop so she can while away in the standstill.
“Can I put off life for a little while longer?”
Only a few know the way she breaks. Only a few have cared enough to help pick up the pieces. Her light flickers most days and she dreads the burnout. Her grief changes shape, but it never ends.
The moon shines bright as longing begins to afflict me again.
I turn on the light to take down the dream of you and me.
Can I resurrect the parts of me that died when you left?
My darling, how can I turn back time?
I loved you at my prime.
It seems that my heart has peaked.
My soul is still yours.
It’s still your warmth I seek.
My freckled lover, how do we start over?
Life has been unkind to the love still brewing inside.
How do I unlove you?
How does miles of skin unlearn your touch?
Today, there is no more you and I.
Tomorrow, I will keep living a lie.
You have me at the soles of your feet.
I am the doormat you wipe your dirty shoes on
as you make some place your home.
Every time you close the door behind you,
I am left soiled
Yet I greet you everyday
with a brand of welcome that only I can give.
So you look at me with such familiarity and warmth
as you enter an abode of rest.
But you never once looked back each time you leave.
Honey, I am home —
lay your tired bones on me when you get locked out.
You may think I’m replaceable,
but I will still wipe your dirty toes clean.
Honey, you may not think about me all the time,
but under me is where you will find the key.
I struggle with the idea of us –
Our could-have-beens and what-ifs.
Tell me the right words to say
That equate to how I make you feel
Each time I kiss your shoulder,
In the times I tuck away
Each strand of rebellious hair.
Tell me how to love you
So you can finally forget
How alone this world makes you feel;
How life has seemingly abandoned you.
Tell me how.
Tell me how.
Life is finite. We all want to leave a mark in this world before our time ends. We all want to be remembered for selfish reasons, usually. But what we fail to fathom is how deep a wound we inflict on the ones we leave behind.
The thought of other people out there who are at the mercy of losing someone who mattered to them and the grief that that loss inflicts makes one think of how unfair life can be, and how beautiful a story it can tell.
As we celebrate the lives well-lived of all the loved ones that passed, we should do well to remember that losing them does not define our present, or our future.
The bitter-sweetness of loss is yet another flavor this life will offer – one we can sink our teeth into.